Lend Me Your Digital Bionic Ears

As boomers age, their hearing ain t what it used to be. They ll be interested to know that there's a company that's learned how to mimic the natural way humans hear. Using technology called digital bionics, high-end Brit company Phonak is now shipping tiny behind-the-ear hearing aids that pack a chipset inside that's reportedly as powerful as a Pentium processor. microSavia, Phonak s latest type of hearing aid that s just slightly bigger than a fingertip, is aimed at those whose hearing loss requires less amplification, so it can be built much smaller than previous models. Using a concept the company calls Digital SurroundZoom, its directional microphone technology sits in the smallest housing on the market for #13 batteries—it s just 25mm long. Those graying boomers might like the way Phonak products are known as the Lexus of hearing aids, with a price tag to match. No pricing available yet on this microSavia model, but the company s previously-released units sold for $3000 apiece, compared to the $1500 cost of most other hearing aids.

Scientists create the bionic ear [TechDigest]