How does Starkey's new Edge Mode benefit users?
Edge Mode is an on-demand adaptation feature that is designed to optimize clarity and comfort when it's engaged. Whenever Edge Mode is engaged, either via a double-tap gesture or a short press of the user control, it will automatically adapt to instantaneously optimize that comfort and clarity for any listening environment in which the patient uses to engage this feature. Whether it's a quiet one or a noisy one, it has the capability to provide that extra level of performance at the moment as needed. Hearing Reality features in the technology are always evaluating what's going on around the patient and adapting to the situation. When Edge Mode is engaged, the hearing aid takes a snapshot of that moment in time and provides more aggressive tuning for that specific situation the patient is experiencing. Those settings are fixed and provide optimized signal processing for that particular snapshot. Then when the user’s listening environment changes, they can disengage Edge Mode and re-engage it as needed. Starkey places the power of AI at the patient's fingertips.
Edge Mode & Masks
As mentioned, our world really has changed in 2020 with the global pandemic. Masks and face coverings of various kinds have become a pervasive part of our daily lives. We know not all masks are the same and how they protect from the virus. We know they're also not the same in their impact on communication and speech understanding. This has created unique communication and speech understanding problems for those with a hearing loss and those wearing hearing aids. Also, face masks not only attenuates the speech sounds, but they alter the spectrum, especially muffling high-frequency speech sounds, as well as blocking those visual cues from the lips, making it very difficult for the hearing impaired patient to really listen and participate in conversations in our new reality. Starkey went to the lab and studied the acoustic transmission properties of various masks. This gives us a graphical representation of what we learned from our measurements. What we learned is that all masks are not the same. We made measurements using many of the latest commercially available medical and fabric masks.
We can see reduced high-frequency information. If we think about providing a predetermined compensation scheme with a fixed in adjustments, not knowing what type of mask that the individuals encounter throughout the day, it might not work as well for one mask scenario as another. That's why we need to look at smart and intelligent solutions, that can adapt to virtually any and all masks. That's where the power of Edge Modes signal processing can really come into play in this new normal of mask-wearing.
Because Edge Mode can instantly optimize sound quality to compensate for the challenges that are created by face masks, social distancing, and background noise. For the optimal benefit of Edge Mode, when listening to someone that's speaking while wearing a mask, we're recommending that the hearing aid wear wait until the person begins speaking, then perform the gesture such as the double-tap or the short press of the user control on the Livio Edge AI, to engage Edge Mode. Waiting until the person begins speaking, ensures that Edge Mode is focused on that speaker's voice, and will optimize the Hearing Reality Pro features to provide the best sound quality for that person's voice. With the introduction of Livio Edge AI and Edge Mode, Starkey put the power of Artificial Intelligence signal processing, into the hands of your patients with a quick double-tap on the hearing aids or that short press or the user control.