Releases | Industry | Starkey Labs, Inc. Unveils New Technology Starkey Labs, Inc. Unveils New Technology July 15, 1999 Print More than 28 million people suffer from hearing loss, according to the Better Hearing Institute. Yet, only one-fourth of them use hearing aids. Pride and vanity are two reasons, but the biggest reason is that current hearing aids don't meet their needs. In spite of improvements in technology, current hearing aids have disappointed and frustrated many wearers.Starkey Labs is introducing new technology today that is dramatically different from any other hearing aid. Starkey's Cetera digital technology will restore the brain's ability to locate where a sound is coming from and to focus on one sound or voice even when in a noisy environment."Current hearing aids are miniature PA systems. They mainly amplify sound," said Jerry Ruzicka, president, Starkey Labs. "However, while making sound louder, because of their physical presence in the ear canal, they obscure the clues needed by the brain to process sound. The results is that most hearing aids aren't able to give the brain the data it needs to filter out background noise, to locate where the sound is coming from or to favor one voice over another in a crowded room."The important tasks of identifying and defining sound - the real job of "hearing"- occurs in the brain. The job of the ears is to capture and send natural acoustic signals to the brain for processing."The brain is the world's best sound processor," said Dr. Sigfrid Soli, Director of the Hearing Aid Research Laboratory at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, a non-profit research and education center. "The idea is to have a hearing aid designed to preserve the clues that enable the brain to process sound."Starkey's Cetera technology makes the hearing aid "invisible" to the brain. Cetera removes the barrier between sound and the brain's ability to process signals. The Cetera technology is based on an innovative new algorithm- the complex mathematical formula that drives a hearing aid. Cetera's algorithm can match the exact characteristics of the wearer's ear. This customization removes the barrier that most hearing aids erect between the incoming sound waves and the data sent to the brain for processing."The Cetera technology applies the lessons of virtual audio to advance the state-of-the-art in hearing aids. The sound difference can be as significant as comparing a one-dimensional visual image to 3-D," said Ruzicka.Starkey Labs is a privately held company engaged in the development, assembly, marketing and repair of hearing aids, related parts and equipment. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Starkey has 30 distribution and manufacturing facilities in 17 countries. The company is a recognized leader in hearing aid technology and is the largest hearing aid manufacturer in the world.For more information on Starkey click here. Click here to visit the Starkey website.