For those who don’t know, last January I threw caution to the wind and joined an early stage technology startup called Zoompf with my good friend Billy Hoffman (an avid follower of this blog). When you start a technology company, you quickly learn the value of following industry newsletters, setting up a hundred Google Alerts, diving head first into all forms of social media, and just altogether getting “plugged in” to the industry. I’ve learned A LOT about this in the last 8 months.
When Fiona was diagnosed with profound hearing loss, i quickly applied these new skills to the Cochlear Implant industry as well. In my earlier post about The Big Business of Cochlear Implants, I called out 3 leaders in the space: Cochler, Med-El, and Advanced Bionics.
Today, my various alerts fired off en masse about a new product release by Advanced Bionics: their new Naida CI Q70 Cochlear Implant. (Yeesh what a name, “Hey we’re all technical and futuristic”…). Eliza and I have actually been following development of this implant closely as we’ve heard of people holding out on their CI surgery to get this new implant since it was a big leap forward. This implant may be a big contender in our choice for Fiona when she’s eligible next year.
I’m still learning more about the details, but here are the specs from their marketing department:
- 55% improvement in speech understanding in noise1 when AB ClearVoice* and Phonak UltraZoom features are used together
- 100% wireless connectivity streaming from consumer electronics by leading brands, including Apple, Samsung, and Nokia
- All-new Binaural VoiceStream Technology designed for improved hearing in noise
- Bimodal streaming media can be streamed to a compatible Phonak hearing aid and a Naída CI sound processor at the same time!
- 40% smaller than the previous behind-the-ear sound processor incredibly lightweight for barely noticeable on and off-ear comfort
- First-ever bilateral feature for easy use and peace of mind each processor can be programmed for both ears so the best ear can still hear if a second processor is misplaced
- Compatibility with AB performance innovations, including ClearVoice, AutoSound, HiRes Fidelity 120*, and HiRes Optima Sound Processing
- All-new, discreet T-Mic 2 microphone
There’s a lot of marketing speak in here, but my interpretation is basically this: “Our sound quality is a lot better, and it’s a lot smaller.”
How real is this, I don’t know. We’re looking forward to learning more from independent sources. Advanced Bionics is also coming to Atlanta on November 3rd to give an information session on the new technology, so Eliza and I will be attending.
We may have to choose an implant for Fiona as early as next February, so we’re watching this one closely. Stay tuned…