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Hi-tech wireless hearing aid

Staff Reporter

It scans and eliminates disturbing components in sound signals The device increases audibility and comfort, besides providing digital surround zoom and real ear sounds

CHENNAI: Wireless hearing aid is now available in Chennai. The aid, fitted behind the ear, and costing Rs. 1.25 lakh, comes with a frequency modulator that can pick up the voice of a teacher speaking into a microphone in an integrated classroom of 50 students. In the open, it can pick up sounds up to 30 metres away.

High-end

The latest digital technology hearing aid from Savia is a high-end product that Phonak AG, Switzerland, is launching in India. It comes with features such as `auto pilot,' `auto focus' and `sound cleaning.'

The device increases audibility and comfort, besides providing digital surround zoom and real ear sounds. The equipment scans and eliminates the disturbing components in sound signals.

The company's Indian subsidiary has set up a laboratory and service centre in Mumbai. Service centres have also been set up in Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi. Currently, service of the gadget takes two days to a week. Phonak held a premium partner programme in Khandala recently with the aim of setting up "a network of dedicated dispensers" in the country.

FM programme

The company has also launched a FM programme in Shruti School for the Deaf in Mumbai, where in two classes students have been fitted with the new device during school hours.

Gelek Tashi, Manager International Sales, Phonak says: "Students want to wear it even after school."

Mr. Tashi says since their entry into Indian market in 2004, sales have jumped 10 times.

Phonak launched its product from Chennai and has since then been working with schools for the hearing impaired in various parts of the country.

Acoustic environment

Acoustic environment can be classified as: listening in quiet environs; noisy surroundings where listeners seek speech or comfort and listening to music, says Rene Burgin, Audiology and Product Education.

The Savia product analyses the acoustic environment and automatically adjusts to the environment. The wireless technology can also switch back to the preset programme.

Phonak products begin at Rs. 10,000. Ramana Rao, Marketing Manager of Phonak India, said since April 2004 the company's products were being sold with a two-year warranty. The organisation's website is www.phonak.com..

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