Starkey Announces New Livio AI Hearing Aid Platform with Integrated Sensors and Artificial Intelligence

August 30 2018, 17:00
The unveiling of the new Starkey Livio AI platform was a major event for Starkey Hearing Technologies, with the US-based company multiple times mentioning the market disruption caused by the iPhone on the communications market, and declaring its ambition to do the same with smart hearing. Starkey intends to reivent "both the hearing experience and the hearing aid,” markets with Livio AI, “the world’s first Healthable hearing aid to utilize integrated sensors and artificial intelligence and the first device to track physical activity and cognitive health as measured by hearing aid use in social situations.

The launch also includes a brand-new mobile app, Thrive Hearing, and three new wireless accessories, the Starkey Hearing Technologies TV, the Remote, and the Remote Microphone+. According to the Minneapolis audiology specialists, with the Remote Micorophone+, Livio AI is also the first hearing aid to feature Amazon Alexa connectivity.

“First and foremost, Livio AI is the best performing and best sounding hearing aid we have ever made. What makes today a pivotal moment in the hearing industry, is that with Livio AI, we have transformed a single-use device into the world’s first multi-purpose hearing aid, a Healthable with integrated sensors and artificial intelligence. Livio AI is so much more than just a hearing aid, it is a gateway to better health and wellness,” stated Starkey Hearing Technologies President Brandon Sawalich.

With the new Livio AI hearing aid tracking brain and body health, complemented with a natural user interface with tap control, language translation and advanced environmental detection, Starkey calls the new platform as "Hearing Reality technology" and states the solution will provide users with an average 50 percent reduction in noisy environments, significant reduced listening effort, and newly enhanced clarity of speech, while the use of artificial intelligence and integrated sensors enabled it to optimize the hearing experience.

As the company details, the platform was the result of a multi-year engineering effort, combining artificial intelligence (AI) and advancements in hearing technology to enable Livio AI to provide unique features and benefits, such as enabling users to understand and see the real-time health benefits of using hearing aids. That change in perception, according to Starkey, starts with the natural user interface with tap control, and "unprecedented, natural listening and speech clarity in the noisiest environments with the new Hearing Reality technology."

Directly addressing the need to transform hearing aids into a multipurpose device, Starkey has combined health and wellness tracking through the app’s combined brain and body health score (Thrive Wellness Score), with integration of the physical activity data measured by inertial sensors of the hearing aids with Apple Health and Google Fit apps. This is complemented with personalized control for customizable adjustments to sound and programs, and remote programming by hearing professionals. Another key health-related argument will be the fall detection ability, using inertial sensors integrated within the hearing aids, like an Apple Watch and iPhone already do.

Finally, to truly translate the vision of "Hearing Reality," Starkey decided to also offer integrated language translation in the platform, connecting to the cloud through the user's smartphone, and feeding the resulting translation directly into a voice level tuned for the user's own hearing profile.

From the outside, the Livio AI device is not much different from modern hearing aids, with the difference being the built-in technology, like a dual-radio wireless platform, working in 2.4GHz radio for streaming of phone calls, music, media, apps, and connecting with various devices including TVs and Amazon Alexa, while using near-field magnetic induction technology for true ear-to-ear communication and binaural noise reduction.

Like standard Starkey products, Livio AI is available as a RIC 312 and BTE 13 configuration in a variety of colors. In addition to the new unique features, Livio AI also includes Starkey’s best-in-class feedback cancellation, high-definition music prescription, advanced Multiflex Tinnitus Technology and Surface NanoShield pioneering water, wax and moisture repellant system to protect and ensure durability and dependability.

"Artificial intelligence, coupled with advanced sensing devices, is rapidly changing the world around us,” Starkey Hearing Technologies Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Engineering Dr. Achin Bhowmik says. “We are proud to introduce these transformational technologies into the world of hearing aids to both optimize the users’ hearing experiences and enable them to continuously monitor and improve their overall health besides treating hearing loss, reducing the associated risks of dementia, anxiety and social isolation.”

"The integrated 3D motion sensors inside Livio AI enable the hearing aids to detect movement, track activities, and recognize gestures. The hearing aids communicate with each other and compatible mobile accessories to deliver meaningful, real-time feedback about users’ overall body and cognitive health and fitness. This cutting-edge technology allows people to take a proactive and personal approach to treating hearing loss, which has been linked to various health issues including dementia, cognitive decline, anxiety, stress, social isolation and an increased risk of falling.

"Livio AI is the first device utilizing the ears to help users better understand not only how to improve their overall health and wellness, but also the deep connection between treating hearing loss and reducing health risks. This helps to improve key areas of well-being by reconnecting users to the people, places and activities they love," he concludes.

Livio AI is available in the United States and Canada for now, with a global roll out to more than 20 countries planned for 2019.

Starkey Hearing Technologies is a privately held, global hearing technology company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Founded in 1967, the company is recognized for its innovative design, development and distribution of comprehensive digital hearing systems. The company develops, manufactures and distributes hearing aids via three distinct brands – Audibel, NuEar and its original brand, Starkey. As the only American-owned and American-operated provider of hearing technologies, Starkey Hearing Technologies currently employs more than 5,000 people, operates 22 facilities and conducts business in more than 100 markets worldwide.
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