BU Professor Advances Hearing Aid Technology
11/16/2012 (Updated 7:37:23 PM)(Source: Jeremy Donovan)
BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY -- It's the world's smallest directional microphone which will help those that rely on hearing aids isolate specific sounds in a loud environment. It was created at Binghamton University
"The diaphragm itself is about a millimeter wide and about 3mm long," said Dr. Ron Miles, Associate Dean of Research, Watson School of Engineering.
Miles has been part of a team researching the project for almost 20 years. It all started with analyzing the inner ear of the Ormia ochracea fly, and then finding a practical application for their findings.
"We wanted it to end up in hearing aids," Miles said. Our goal was to help people with hearing impairment."
Miles says hearing aids are currently using 1960's microphone technology and in need of an upgrade. Thanks to $50,000 of funding from the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund he can do just that.
"The technology accelerator fund has helped us to advance the basic research in order to create devices that are suitable for demonstrating to companies and to help market this," he said.
After the completion of the new Science and Engineering Building on campus, Miles will be conducting tests on the microphone in a sound proof room. Delicate research that requires absolute silence.
"We believe this may be the quietest place in the world," Miles said.
The TAF is only a year and half old and there are six projects in its newest round of funding, one of which is at BU.
"Having a source of funding that takes ideas from the basic research in the lab in order to expedite and facilitate their commercialization is a huge benefit for society,"
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