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Music to my brother’s ears Why (and how) we created new  audio products  for hearing impaired persons Prepared for Positive Lifestyles Panel (Friesen Conference 23 April 2009) By Morley Lipsett (semi-retired) SFU Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology and

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Music to my brother s ears l.jpg

Music to my brother’s ears

Why (and how) we created new audio products for hearing impaired persons

Company Confidential Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. © 2009


Introduction l.jpg

Prepared for

Positive Lifestyles Panel (Friesen Conference 23 April 2009)

By

Morley Lipsett (semi-retired)

SFU Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology

and

Earl Lipsett(retired musician/educator)

With inspiration from

Naftaly Ramrajkar (Product developer, audiophile & sage)

Introduction


My brother and his ears l.jpg
My brother (and his ears)

Meet the guy that introduced me to classical music 65 years ago


Predicament l.jpg
Predicament

& the germ of an idea

  • My visit to Edmonton

  • Aging ears – and in a hospital

  • What, no iPod?

  • How hearing loss became a virtue


My cool gear on the plane l.jpg
My ‘cool’ gear (on the plane)


Meanwhile at the hospital l.jpg
Meanwhile at the hospital

  • Physical discomfort

  • No tv

  • No CDs

  • No audio-visual enjoyment available

  • My iPod unsuited to Earl’s ears, with or without hearing aid.

So I went shopping for a remedy. –None existed!



Disconnects l.jpg
Disconnects

Hearing aid culture

  • Invisibility

  • Low power/tiny battery

  • Not mp3-friendly

  • Limited dynamic range

    tiny transducers

    low voltage

  • Annoying to wear; easy to misplace

  • Associated with ageism

iPod culture

  • Cool

  • Visible & fashionable

  • Superb sound quality for ‘normal hearing’

  • Music, music, music

  • Trendy earphones

    But

  • neglects personal hearing deficits

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. © 2009


Not enjoyed yet by persons with hearing loss l.jpg
Not enjoyed (yet)by persons with hearing loss

Such as

  • Rock Musicians

  • Age related (Boomers)

  • Pilots

  • Occupational damage

  • Slow degradation over time

    Most everyone,

    sooner or later

In fact

  • Most people don’t know what they’ve been missing

  • They just gradually got used to

    • less brilliance

    • lack of localization

    • reduced clarity

    • muffled sounds

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. © 2009

9


Hearing acuity l.jpg
Hearing acuity

  • Often assumed

  • Not normally measured until deafness is suspected

    Frequently a matter of opinion

    rather than accurately assessed.

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. © 2009


Yet audiograms are like eye exams l.jpg
Yet audiograms are like eye exams

  • Person with hearing loss

  • Person with ‘normal’ hearing

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. © 2009


So we set out l.jpg
So we set out

  • To match the sounds of the world

    • To Earl’s hearing spectrum

By using musician-quality equipment.

(i.e. audiophile, hi-fidelity, studio-quality stuff)

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. © 2009


Technical objectives l.jpg
Technical objectives

  • Restore audiophile listening experience

    i.e. beyond today’s youth

  • For recorded performances

    and

  • Live events

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. © 2009


How we did it eventually l.jpg
How we did it (eventually)

  • Implementation

    • Developed a special, prototype interface device to precisely compensate

      (SpectraPhonics Normalizer technology)

    • Fed studio quality earphones/headphones

      (as used by artists and audiophiles)

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. © 2009

14


Obvious perhaps but unavailable l.jpg
Obvious, perhaps, but unavailable

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. ©2009


Slide16 l.jpg
Demo

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. (c) 2009


We got it to work l.jpg
We got it to work!

At first with headphones and CD’s


Slide18 l.jpg

Then with mics, ready for rehearsals

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. (c) 2009



Resulting experience field trials l.jpg
Resulting experience (field trials) (c) 2009

  • Like putting on glasses and seeing clearly - again.

  • 20/20 listening

  • Thrilling!

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. ©2009


Technology gerontology l.jpg
Technology & Gerontology (c) 2009

  • Today’s media - MP3/Video players, video games, downloaded content, and live performances rely on hearing.

  • Yet hearing profile (loss) has been and continues to be neglected by these markets

    • Except for hearing aids

    • Which are marketed as if for the infirm, the old, the defective.

Company Confidential - Bowen Innovation Consultants, Ltd. (c) 2009


Our positive lifestyles vision l.jpg
Our ‘positive lifestyles’ vision (c) 2009

to make it cool to be custom fitted for ‘ear glasses’.

  • Let’s enjoy 20/20 listening; Let’s redefine ‘normal’!


Any questions does anybody here care to get involved in this work l.jpg
Any questions? (c) 2009Does anybody here care to get involved in this work?

We wish to thank all of you, and a special thanks to the conference organizers

...M & E


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