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Audio Sense, Telecoil Sense and Programming Signal Input Pin-Sharing Using Input Signal Pattern Detection in Hearing Aids

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000200024D
Published in the IP.com Journal: Volume 10 Issue 10A (2010-10-12)
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2010-Oct-12
Document File: 3 page(s) / 163K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

Modern behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids are able to distinguish between different user modes. Such modes can be the so called audio mode, the telecoil mode and the programming mode. Currently, the audio mode is triggered by using an audio sense input signal from the audio shoe. An audio shoe is used with a BTE hearing aid to provide Direct Audio Input (DAI). DAI is a feature which allows an external source to be directly connected to the hearing aid by passing its microphone. The telecoil mode is triggered in a quite similar way. Once a signal on a specific contact is pulled to a low-level voltage, the instrument goes into its respective mode depending on the contact assignment and wiring. However, state of the art BTE hearing aids need at least four contacts to distinguish between audio mode, telecoil mode and programming mode. One contact is needed to sense the input signal for audio mode, one contact to sense the input signal for telecoil mode and two pins are needed for the programming of the device itself. The programming pins are usually the so called nClock pin and the nData pin through which a digital communication with the device is enabled.

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Audio Sense, Telecoil Sense and Programming Signal Input Pin-Sharing Using Input Signal Pattern Detection in Hearing Aids

Idea: Aun Yong Hong, SG-Singapore; Mui Mui Goh, SG-Singapore; Sing Nan Robin Ku, SG-
Singapore

Modern behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids are able to distinguish between different user modes. Such modes can be the so called audio mode, the telecoil mode and the programming mode. Currently, the audio mode is triggered by using an audio sense input signal from the audio shoe. An audio shoe is used with a BTE hearing aid to provide Direct Audio Input (DAI). DAI is a feature which allows an external source to be directly connected to the hearing aid by passing its microphone. The telecoil mode is triggered in a quite similar way. Once a signal on a specific contact is pulled to a low-level voltage, the instrument goes into its respective mode depending on the contact assignment and wiring. However, state of the art BTE hearing aids need at least four contacts to distinguish between audio mode, telecoil mode and programming mode. One contact is needed to sense the input signal for audio mode, one contact to sense the input signal for telecoil mode and two pins are needed for the programming of the device itself. The programming pins are usually the so called nClock pin and the nData pin through which a digital communication with the device is enabled.

The four signal contact pads are located on the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) of the BTE hearing aid. Valuable space can be saved by optimizing the communication and sensing of the above mentioned user modes by reducing the number of required contact pads.

In the following a novel method of sensing different user modes in hearing aids is presented, where different input signals based on their signal characteristics are sensed through a minimum of two signal pads. nClock and nData signals are digital signals alternating between '0' (low voltage level) and '1' (high voltage level). It is proposed to pull those pins to the high voltage level constantly by the signal processing chip when the programming signals nClock and nData are not present. Different user modes, such as audio mode or telecoil mode can now be sensed and switched on when the voltage level on one or both of these pins is pulled to a low level in certain characteris...