Oticon Kaizn, the world’s first personal AI assistant for your ears



Oticon Kaizn™, World’s First Personal AI Assistant for Your Ears, Wins Two 2019 CES Innovation Awards

Copenhagen, Denmark
9 November 2018

AI-powered tool learns to automate hearing aids settings based on wearer’s preferences and behavior

Oticon Kaizn™, the world’s first personal AI assistant for your ears, has received a 2019 CES Best of Innovation Award in the Software and Mobile Apps category, and has been named a CES Innovation Honoree in the Tech for a Better World category. The new, AI-powered tool brings to fruition the promise of personalized, human-driven hearing healthcare for hundreds of thousands of hearing aid wearers worldwide.

With Kaizn™, Oticon, the same company that developed Opn™, the world’s first Internet-connected hearing aid, continues to revolutionize hearing care and push the boundaries of hearing aid capabilities. Just as Spotify recommends new songs based on a user’s past listening behavior, artificial intelligence built into Kaizn™ learns from a hearing aid wearer’s listening preferences, habits, and environments to predict their preferences in a particular sound scenario and automatically adjust their hearing aid settings for an optimized listening experience.

“Oticon is a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence in the audiology sector, with a long-standing commitment to innovation and excellence in technology that improves hearing and overall quality of life for people with hearing loss,” says Oticon Product Manager, Michael Porsbo. “With Kaizn™, we tap the full potential of data-driven personalized hearing care, using a combination of real-time local data, aggregated ‘big’ data and artificial intelligence to deliver a best sound experience.”

Kaizn™ collects and analyzes data about an individual’s hearing aid use and listening environments to learn their behaviors and hearing preferences, and ultimately provide real-time hearing aid recommendations and adjustments. The AI-powered tool communicates with hearing aid wearers at key moments to learn the their “intent” or what they want to gain from different sound environments. For example, Kaizn™ will recognize when a hearing aid wearer enters a noisy environment, like a loud restaurant, and will contact the wearer, via a push notification, to ask whether they need “focus” or “comfort” in the scenario. Kaizn™ will then adjust the user’s hearing aid settings to reflect that preference. Over time, Kaizn™ can automate adaptive changes based on the user’s feedback/validation and adjust the user’s Opn hearing aid settings automatically when they enter similar noise environments.

“Kaizn™ will support hearing care professionals in their efforts to engage and encourage patients to become active partners in their hearing healthcare,” explains Michael Porsbo. “This ever expanding, ever improving AI-based solution and system will allow hearing care professionals to provide continuous added value that enables patients to optimize the choices they make daily that affect their hearing health and overall well-being."

Oticon will preview Kaizn™ alongside HearingFitness™, a 2018 CES Innovation Award winner, and Oticon Opn™, a 2017 CES Best of Innovation Award winner, at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. Visit booth #43334 in the Sands to learn more.

Why Kaizn™

The name Kaizn™ was inspired by the Japanese word and famous LEAN principle, kaizen. The word itself means “change for better” and implies a continuous process of improvement. This thinking is a key part of Oticon Kaizn™ technology that uses artificial intelligence to continuously learn and better adapt to the user’s needs. www.kaizn.com

About Oticon

500 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. The majority are over the age of 50 while eight percent are under the age of 18. It is Oticon’s ambition that our customers - hearing clinics throughout the world - prefer to use our products for people with impaired hearing. Through passion, dedication and professional expertise, Oticon develops and manufactures hearing aids for both adults and children. Oticon supports every kind of hearing loss from mild to severe and we pride ourselves on developing some of the most innovative hearing aids in the market. Headquartered out of Denmark, we are a global company and part of William Demant Group with more than 13,000 employees and revenues of over DKK 13 billion. www.oticon.global


Oticon makes a good product but their marketing arrogance is beyond belief. They don’t just think they’re better than everybody else. They don’t think there is anybody else.


The only thing I know is that Oticon is the only brand that has worked for me. My first round with the VA and my hearing saw me trying every brand that the VA System handles and Oticon was the only one that was able to give me something I could hear with. I know a large part was getting aids that allowed me to continue to be able to work. My job up until I retired had me on the phone all day everyday. And my hearing loss back then was more cookie bite than it is now. I was able to hear lows and highs but not understand voice back then. Now it seems that the VA just automatically goes to Oticon for my aids. I am not going to complain seeing I do not have to pay for them, or any of my hearing supplies or add-ons and I can hear as good as I do. For me getting new hearing aids is like a Christmas or birthday present.


They’re what I’m wearing now. It’s not about the aids just their propaganda.


Marketing–yes. Arrogance–not a word I would have chosen. Even a dementia sufferer could benefit once they remove the ‘permission’ step. And they will IMHO.


I don’t really pay attention to ads. I guess that is due to getting to say these don’t worn or they are great, and not having to pay to return them if they don’t work. I have a 3 month trial period at the VA. And after that first time I haven’t had to say no again. But the first time I was in tears and beginning to thI wasn’t going to be able to get any thing that worked for me, I was also very lucky that year that I didn’t lose my job. My manager was very understanding and stuck with me seeing I was really trying to get it worked out. That year I went through 5 Audis at that clinic and it ended up being the new one on that just started working there that managed to talk the supervising Audi there in getting Oticon’s rep in to see if they had something that would work for me.


If they can really pull this off then it would change the whole environment for us. It would be great to go into my church and have the aids automatically switch to the t coils. Or get in the car and direct my hearing so I could understand my wife setting in the passenger seat.

I hope this means they are going to greatly improve their apps.


they’re the only brand that worked for me too!
as for Kaizn??? seriously putting that on my list too (if they have a fall sensor since I had some accidents last week too)


Not only fall protection but in their final form they’re going to cook your dinner and do the dishes. All part of “revolutionizing the industry”. LOL. Interesting methinks that this comes when Phonak actually has done something significant. Let’s steal a little of the competitions thunder if we can.


Kaizn? Sounds as Russian word “kazn” (murder). OMG))


Agreed…but I’m almost laughing here because the Oticon On app is so unreliable on most Android phones. In fact, I had to delete it from my phone because it wouldn’t recognize my Opns after a recent update of the hearing aids and the phone’s software. If the app can’t be relied on to work with most Android phones, (see Google Play Store for a lot of user comments and complaints about the app), then I don’t see how any “push notification” will be helpful or accurate for most Android users. C’mon, Oticon. Give as much attention to Android users and you do to iPhone users, and maybe I’ll get excited about this big marketing announcement. (And yes, I realize that Oticon Opn is made for iPhone, but they also market the ConnectClip for Android users, so it would be helpful if they gave Android devices equal consideration.)


Agree. Oticon is the only brand that works for me too. They know some secret about hearing. But they moving too slow. Other brands can show 3-5 new hearing aids each half of year, but Oticon can show 1-2 new aids only. Especially superpowers - 1 for each 5 years :imp:


And one more question! Why does Oticon call it worlds first AI assistant? How about Widex Evoke and Starkey Livio AI - with artifical intelligence too!?


I was wondering the same…


First let me say the ON app sucks. If Oticon put the same effort into the app as the aids then it would be wonderful. Second the only way they will be able to support android is if the hardware was based on a single hardware base like iPhone and if the android OS was locked down like IOS is. Microsoft has the same problem with Windows it has to support too may platforms. If Microsoft had a single set of platforms it would be a great OS but it is wide open and it just barely works at all, the same would be true for android if Google refused to allow the hardware manufacturers to modify the OS.
What is happening with Apple and it is smart is they choose a single platform to work with so their hearing aids would have the best chance to work. Like it or not that is the common sense truth.

I was an electronics tech and Microsoft System Engineer. It was my job to find out what the problems were, I normally found that the hardware had changed in some way due to the supply of parts, this caused issues with the OS, what I had to do was write up a long report to what was wrong then proof it to all parties, normally the hardware manufacturer, Microsoft developers, and in most cases the customer that owned the hardware. This process can take years before any thing really is down to fix the issue and by then the hardware is outdated, and the OS has also moved on to a new revision.
What I am saying is that all of this is not a easy fix or easy to do. It takes years and sometimes dacades to come up with new products. What you see as new this year may have been on the design board for 10 or more years.


Marketers are the envy of used car salesmen and quite adept at using nuanced language to exploit consumers. Technically it isn’t lying but it can be deceptive. In the case of Oticon there are small differences in their use of AI, in this case the “push notification” that they call a “personal AI assistant for your ears” and then speak as if it’s the only AI enabled hearing aid. They presume their particular use is the definition of AI and then say only they have it. YAWN.

With the very limited amount of information presented it appears the difference between Widex and Oticon is implementation. With Widex you tell it what you want and with Oticon it taps you on the shoulder (the push) and asks if you want something.

Anyway you have to love this short blurb by Oticon.

“Oticon is a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence in the audiology sector, with a long-standing commitment to innovation and excellence in technology that improves hearing and overall quality of life for people with hearing loss,” says Oticon Product Manager, Michael Porsbo. “With Kaizn™, we tap the full potential of data-driven personalized hearing care, using a combination of real-time local data, aggregated ‘big’ data and artificial intelligence to deliver a best sound experience.”

What does that really say? Not a damn thing but hurrah for our side. But it does cause a bit of a predicament for the marketing people. What will they call their next industry shattering innovation now that they have already “tapped the full potential of data-driven personalized hearing care”? BS ad infinitum.

It may be a good system if it does what it is supposed to do. If it does some people will like it and some won’t. With that, the more things change the more they stay the same.


After being in the workforce for 50 years and working for different manufacturers and, designers, developers, I do not pay attention to Ads, or even manufacturers right ups I look for reviews on how the produce does in the real world. It seems that there is no limits to the lies that are allowed today when it comes to Ads, and even the nightly news.


Which is why the forum is the best place to learn about the aids. There is a wealth of useful data to be gleaned from the personal experiences of actual users.


That is why I am on here, but I even find people on here sometimes very intolerant to others. And Ihave been the same way even when I try not to be.
When I went to the VA for my hearing test, I told the new Audi, at least to me, that I was here to find out how my hearing was doing, and when he said I was getting new aids and asked for my opinion I said I have had better luck with Oticon over the years, but I was there because I trusted him to tell me what I needed, then he was up front and said he was recommending Oticon ITE aids for me seeing my records show that is what has worked in the past. And he said I had 3 months to decide to keep them or not.
I hadn’t even looked at the OPN aids to know what they were about until I got home from that appointment. Then I came here to the forum to find out.


Watch how you count old and new :wink:. Sometimes a new model is actually the same as the old model. A manufacturer could take an old model, wipe it’s butt, then trot it out as a newly named “B” model. Thankfully they have redeemed themselves with the Marvel Platform.