Towards intention-controlled hearing aids: experiences from eye-controlled hearing aids

Speaker:  Professor Thomas Lunner, Eriksholm Research Centre, Denmark

Abstract: A hearing impairment causes a reduced ability to segregate acoustic sources. This gives problems to switch between and to follow speech streams in complex scenes with multiple talkers. Current hearing aid beamforming technologies rely on a listener’s ability to point with the head towards a source of interest. However, this is very difficult in a conversation situation with spatially separated talkers where rapid switches between talkers takes place. In this talk I will show that eye-gaze position signals can be picked up electrically in the ear canal through electrooculography, and that these signals can be used for fast intentional eye-gaze control towards the source of interest in a complex listening scene like a restaurant. Experiments where eye-gaze signals are combined with motion sensors and beamformers show that high benefits in form of improved speech intelligibility is possible for the hearing-impaired listeners. Results also indicate that eye-control combined with head movements is faster and more precise than head movements alone. The presentation will include several videos to show the use cases.

Topic: Listening effort with Bone Anchored Hearing Aids

Speaker:  Dr Søren Riis, Oticon Medical, Denmark

Abstract: In this talk I will give a brief summary of three recent studies on listening effort in Bone Anchored Hearing Aid patients using Oticon Medical Ponto devices. In the first two studies, the importance of direct drive (direct to bone coupling) is illustrated by means of a learning speed task and a word recall task. In the third study, the importance of high power (force) output of the bone conduction vibrator is illustrated on listening effort measured using pupilometry in a speech in noise task.

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