Starkey Wireless tech

Extract from Interview from Audiology online- Starkey’s upcomming wireless technology

We also introduced our wireless system, which is a longer term development that will launch later this year. We’re calling it IRIS Technology and it’s an entirely new wireless technology, featuring direct-to-hearing aid wireless programming and high performance audio streaming. It’s a 900 MHz system, and we demonstrated it at AudiologyNOW in a few different ways – both with wireless programming and with our media streamer.

Our approach to wireless is different from what anyone else has done so far. Right now, the world of wireless is a world of streamers. Streamers are difficult for people to use, and they’re not intuitive. Streamers involve another utility that you have to hang around your neck, pair, learn to use, etc. The average age of our patients is in the late ‘60s, and they do not want to be burdened with these devices. What we’ve developed with our IRIS Technology is a hands-free approach to wireless. The effect, again, is dramatic. If a patient walks in the door to your office for programming, you simply have to find the patient on your computer. You don’t have to deal with cables, you don’t have to put anything around the patient’s neck, and you can even program the patient’s hearing aids from the next room! The benefits of our technology include an extended range and that it’s hands-free. From a convenience standpoint when it comes to programming your patient’s hearing aids, there is no better system.

IRIS Technology also has ear-to-ear capability so we can have ear-to-ear functioning and some shared signal processing that we are working on in the SHRC. This system also features high performance audio streaming. For example, with our television device that we call SurfLink Media, you’ll notice there is no latency, no delay. Normal speaker-to-ear time is about 10 ms, and this technology is near normal, at 17 ms. Other systems have a delay up to 177 ms; listening at 177 ms delay means you’ll see the mouth move first and the words will come later. In addition, we also stream in stereo, while other systems have a monaural signal stream.

The hands-free system means maximum ease of use for patients. With IRIS wireless technology, if a patient walks in to his living room, he will hear the tv wirelessly, without having to use a streamer device. There are no buttons to push or switches to flip - he’ll hear the tv naturally, just like we do with our ears. It’s simply automatic, and we are very excited about that.

This is interesting though I didn’t understand everything.

Will see what will this look like.

I hope that’s OK, 0.9 Ghz is where European GSM signal sits. I’ll assume they’ve figured that out though, unless they expect everybody to sit through TDMA signalling.

Does 900 not have problems with interferance with pace makers and the like in the UK?

How is volume controlled?

My guess is sweep technology, as it was introduced last year.

I do not like groping my ears to find a volume/program controls, and it would most annoying in a meeting trying to find the sweet spot for volume control.

Guess I am still not a Starkey fan, after my experience directly with Starkey and a well papered Audi.

Don’t see why it should, DECT phones have been using it for years. As I understand it, Telecoms people are pushing the use of 2G services back down to 900mhz to free up more bandwidth in at 1.8GHz and 2.5Ghz for 3G data traffic.

English Dispenser might have more insight as he used to work in that industry.

GN Resound is introducing this technology as well, available in July I believe (so haven’t tried it yet). All wireless programming, up to 20 feet.

Starkey as the ability to do programming over the phone for patients who cannot make it in to the office. Uses their T2 technology. Havent used it yet either. I’m assuming it would be for gross adjustments and not fine channel adjustments???

dr. amy

Starkey hearing aids volume is controlled by mobile phone. No need to carry remotes and other stuff. This is far beyond all other hearing aid brands. That’s technology.

I favor Starkey products, but in all fairness, the T2 technology does need to be made more reliable than it currently is…

dr. amy

What’s wrong with their T2?

With the Starkey’s I trialed T2 was too difficult and hit or miss. Most of the time I spent was getting the HA to respond. The worst of it I had to adjust each ear independently, The volume change was so minuscule it was not worth the effort, maybe the new Technology will will have e2e control so changes are made to both HA and an improved T2 mechanism. Still does not sound as useful as pushing the button on my HA remote and getting instantaneous changes to programming or volume.

The next issue I see is just because I walk in to a room that has the TV adapter does not mean I want to listen. Perhaps I walked into the TV room to get my reading glasses or a book, Maybe I am I am on a call and just pacing as I do, I hope more thought went into this technology it sounds great.

What battery life can be expected, will they come in a rechargeable version.

Hope to read more about the new aids in the coming days.

BTW my TV Adapter has no noticeable delay, sounds like Starkey is using a lot Advertising spin…

It is not as reliable as it could be. Sometimes it does not change the settings of the aids even when the DTMF tones can be heard.

This is a valid complaint from patients and audis that Starkey is fully aware of.

dr. amy

theys hope this does not happen to their wireless tech. Given its been over 3yrs since the
first wireless instrument was out (other manf). lets hope they get it right…
It will be nice to have something awesome

Agreed. One of my aids responds readily, the other does not. Are firmware upgrades possible, and I wonder if this could help?

maybe the instrument is defective…