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New Method of Attaching a Battery to the Hearing Instruments

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199026D
Original Publication Date: 2010-Sep-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2010-Sep-09
Document File: 3 page(s) / 219K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

Current hearing aid devices have battery doors with small-scale hinges. A popular configuration contains an arc shaped battery door that opens lengthwise in a swinging action. The door itself retains the battery within the device. When opening the battery compartment, the initial pull on the battery door is a linear action on the part of the user. This action imposes an inadvertent sheering force on the fragile door hinge and additionally the insertion of a battery into the door may impose inadvertent torque on the door hinge in an axis parallel to the hinge. An older method uses a cylindrical well within the hearing device. The battery is inserted into the well and the battery door swings down over the compartment. This configuration can eliminate the torque on the battery door hinge with the insertion of the battery, but does not eliminate the sheer forces imposed when opening the door. This configuration is not popular today because the cylindrical well, in which the battery is seated, requires more surface area on the device.

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New Method of Attaching a Battery to the Hearing Instruments

Idea: Amit Vaze, US-Piscataway, New York; James Edward DeFinis, US-Piscataway, New York;
Lavlesh Lamba, US-Piscataway, New York; Ireneusz Rybark, US-Piscataway, New York

Current hearing aid devices have battery doors with small-scale hinges. A popular configuration contains an arc shaped battery door that opens lengthwise in a swinging action. The door itself retains the battery within the device. When opening the battery compartment, the initial pull on the battery door is a linear action on the part of the user. This action imposes an inadvertent sheering force on the fragile door hinge and additionally the insertion of a battery into the door may impose inadvertent torque on the door hinge in an axis parallel to the hinge.

An older method uses a cylindrical well within the hearing device. The battery is inserted into the well and the battery door swings down over the compartment. This configuration can eliminate the torque on the battery door hinge with the insertion of the battery, but does not eliminate the sheer forces imposed when opening the door. This configuration is not popular today because the cylindrical well, in which the battery is seated, requires more surface area on the device.

Hence, the conventional battery door of a hearing instrument is the weakest component in the assembly. Most of the hearing aid users are seniors with degraded eye sight and motor control. These factors can make it challenging to articulate the "swing-out" operation of the battery door. This may cause the user to inadvertently apply stresses and torque to the assembly causing it to fail. Because when the hinge mechanism fails on a hearing device, the product must be returned to the manufacturer for repairing or replacement. This involves at minimum hearing aid disassembly and door replacement. It can require a shell replacement that in case of ITE (In The Ear) hearing aids means faceplate replacement.

The novel concept of the following solution is a method that simplifies the retention of the battery within a hearing instrument with the use of a slot configuration that eliminates the need for the conventional "swing-out" battery door. The device's battery is inserted into the battery slot lengthwise. Once inserted, the battery is locked into place and makes contact with the contact plates. This concept discusses the use of five possible methods how the battery slot can be configured on the instrument to retain the battery and avoid the use of the conventional battery door. The images depict the concept on a BTE instrument but it is not limited to this instrument type (see Figures 1 to 5).

Figure 1 shows a battery slot with a sliding battery door. An arc shape in the battery door allows it to conform to the interior of the device as it is slid open to receive the battery. The hinge-less design slides lengthwise to cover or expose the battery slot and allows the insertion of the ba...