Isle of Wight, UK, 2nd September 2010
The next generation of digital hearing aids is being developed and tested on real-time GNU/Linux systems from 64 Studio Ltd, using dedicated multi-channel audio interfaces and standard Lenovo notebooks.
HörTech gGmbH is a not-for-profit company based in Oldenburg, Germany, specializing in research on hearing impairment and augmentation technology. At the Haus des Hörens facility in Oldenburg, university and industry researchers collaborate on new software algorithms which will one day be available to the general public in hearing aid products.
Researchers needed a mobile platform which could process audio from the six miniature microphones in the binaural hearing aid devices with the lowest delay possible. All digital audio processing introduces latency, but if the delay is greater than a few milliseconds, the hearing aid wearer will begin to perceive a mismatch between what they can see or feel and the sound in their ears.
Field test: Hearing aid research requires the lowest possible latency from the operating system. Image © University of Oldenburg