Oticon has announced the launch of Oticon Opn, the first Internet of Things (IoT) hearing aid, which can be programmed to communicate directly with a full range of connected devices such as baby alarms, smoke detectors, and other health and safety-related technologies.
According to Oticon, the Opn utilizes TwinLink™, a dual communication system that combines binaural processing with streamer-free, internet connectivity, without compromising battery life or physical size. The Opn is the first listening device compatible with the web-based service IFTTT (If This Then That), which helps to unlock potential for connected device communication. The Velox sound processing system allows Opn users to more naturally follow multiple conversations in noisy environments without using traditional directionality.
Opn and the Internet of Things That Matter
Oticon reports that with Opn, it is now possible to program hearing aids to communicate directly with connected devices such as door bells, smoke detectors and baby alarms. The Opn hearing aid connects to and interacts with the Internet, which allows Oticon to focus on an “Internet of Things that matter” where devices and services people depend on for their health and safety join more entertainment and convenience-oriented features. With safety and health in mind, the company is simultaneously launching project ON, a new technology that makes its latest-generation hearing aids Oticon Opn part of the Internet of Things through the online service If This Then That (ifttt.com).
“With Opn we’ve taken a giant leap forward – for both hearing aids and the Internet of Things,” said Søren Nielsen, president ofticon A/S. “The potential of IoT is vast, but on a consumer level we’ve largely seen devices that focus on convenience. With Opn, the Internet of Things starts to matter – you could say that this will change people’s lives.”
In addition to this connectivity, Oticon has made strides with Opn’s core function as a listening device. Powered by the high-speed Velox platform, Opn addresses the challenge of handling noisy environments with multiple speakers. Through the use of precise sound analysis performing over 100 times a second, important sounds such as speech can be located from any direction, with background noise de-emphasized for optimum clarity.
“Oticon has always been about audiology and technology working in harmony, and with Opn we’re introducing new and groundbreaking technology to address real issues that affect those with hearing loss,” said Nielsen. “Opn opens up a whole new world of sound, allowing users to manage multiple speakers in difficult situations such as dinner conversations, and to benefit from technological advances that were previously out of reach. Opn can make a real difference to the lives of people, young and old, who suffer from hearing loss.”