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Advanced Bionics Introduces New Cochlear Implant Sound Processors on Marvel Platform, including the World’s First Sound Processor for Children

Christopher Bingham

January 14, 2021

Interview with Christopher Bingham, Advanced Bionics


AudiologyOnline: Congratulations on the launch of your new Marvel platform.

Chris: Thank you! This is one of the most exciting launches we’ve ever had. As you know, Marvel was first known to the world as a hearing aid platform developed by our sister company, Phonak. It was groundbreaking technology that was overwhelmingly well-received by patients and professionals alike. We’re very pleased to be able to bring the same benefits offered by Marvel and more to our cochlear implant recipients and candidates.   

AudiologyOnline: Which cochlear implant processors are you introducing with Marvel CI?

Chris: We will be introducing two new sound processors—the Naída CI M and Sky CI M. The Naída CI M has an impressive new feature set for adult recipients. But perhaps even more exciting, Sky CI M is the world’s first CI sound processor designed specifically with children in mind.

AudiologyOnline: Tell us first about the new Naída CI M.

Chris: The Naída CI M is the new Marvel CI sound processor that allows us to bring many of the celebrated Phonak Marvel features to our adult CI population. For example, the Autosense OS 3.0 operating system can deliver excellent sound quality and performance throughout the day. It is a machine-learning algorithm that continuously analyzes the changing soundscapes around the recipient, and automatically adjusts sound processing accordingly. Another great new feature is the connectivity offered with integrated Bluetooth and RogerDirect, which lets our CI recipients take phone calls and stream audio from virtually any device.

With its newly designed ergonomic housing and slim headpiece, and the waterproof accessories, Marvel CI is also comfortable to wear, intuitive to use, discreet, and waterproof. With all these user-centric features, I really think those using our Naída CI M will love being able to hear well all day, every day--at home, at work, with friends and family, or when enjoying their favorite activities, from phone calls to going out for dinner.

AudiologyOnline: What makes Sky CI M specifically for children?

Chris: We know that children are not small adults. Their listening needs, wearing requirements, and daily listening situations are all different from those of adults. Sky CI M is the result of close collaboration with Phonak, the leader in pediatric hearing care. So, we were able to combine their expertise with our decades of CI knowledge to design a processor that is specifically for kids.

There are numerous features in Sky CI M dedicated to kids’ needs. For example, the unique AutoSense Sky OS 3.0 is the automatic operating system specifically designed for children’s typical listening situations, like classrooms, playgrounds, and libraries. It is artificial intelligence embedded in a CI system that can provide the optimum performance throughout the day without the need for manual adjustments or management by parents and teachers. The built-in Bluetooth technology and RogerDirect capability meet all the connectivity needs a child might have as they grow, whether it’s for video calling with grandparents, participating in class, or streaming their favorite shows, music, and games.

AudiologyOnline: Are there any child-specific elements in the product design of Sky CI M?

Chris: We offer a variety of wearing options for Sky CI M, whether on the ear or clipped to a shirt. This way, the device stays secure no matter the age of the child or the intensity of the activity. Sky CI M also comes in fun, child-friendly colors. This allows kids to let their personalities shine. We believe that if the kids like how their CI system looks, they’ll be more likely to wear it, which means they’ll be able to benefit more from it.

The robust waterproof accessories available with Sky CI M allows kids to continue hearing well during fun activities and important learning opportunities in and around water and dirt. This means babies and toddlers won’t miss out on the bonding and learning that happen during bath time and swim class. As they become older, they can fully participate in their favorite sports, and enjoy their time at the beach or the pool.

AudiologyOnline: The pediatric population spans from babies to teens. Is Sky CI M more suited for a particular age group of kids than others?

Chris: I’m so glad you asked. In fact, we designed Sky CI M to be appropriate for all children aged one year and older. That’s because Sky CI M is flexible enough to adapt to the changing need of kids as they grow. As I have alluded to earlier, so many of its features, such as connectivity and waterproofing, are as relevant and important for babies as when those babies become kids and teens. Different age kids will use Sky CI M in different ways, but its flexibility ensures that it will always rise to the challenge as time goes on.

AudiologyOnline: What’s Target CI?

Chris: Target CI is our brand new CI fitting software compatible with our Marvel CIs and their compatible bimodal hearing aid! We know as busy hearing care professionals who want the best for their patients, your readers want a fitting software that is easy to use so that they can spend more time with their patients rather than the software. They want a smarter fitting tool that allows them to easily offer more patient benefit and leverages the latest technology possibilities. And that’s what Target CI is designed to be.

AudiologyOnline: The name of the software sounds like it’s another close collaboration with Phonak. 

Chris: Absolutely! We’ve taken Phonak Target, the market-leading fitting software, and built on this foundation to deliver a comprehensive tool for any type of CI fitting – unilateral, bilateral, or bimodal. It has an intuitive workflow and user-centered design that will remind users of Phonak Target. And for the first time ever, professionals can program a cochlear implant and the compatible bimodal hearing aid with one software in one fitting session. Target CI also uses the industry-standard Noahlink Wireless, giving professionals and their patients the freedom and convenience of cable-free programming. We can’t wait for your readers to try it!

AudiologyOnline: What else are you introducing with this launch?

Chris: We’re also very excited to introduce the AB Remote app. As the name suggests, it’s going to be a smartphone app that can remotely control our Naída CI M, Sky CI M, and our bimodal solution! It can even be used to check the functional status of different sound processor components. It’s a convenient and discreet solution that helps our wearers and parents help manage their hearing devices, both Marvel CI devices and compatible Phonak Link M hearing aids.

AudiologyOnline: Anything else you’d like for our readers to know?

Chris: We invite everyone to check out the entire portfolio of our new offering at our website, and learn more about Sky CI M, Naída CI M, Target CI, and the AB Remote app.

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christopher bingham

Christopher Bingham

Vice President of Global Marketing, Advanced Bionics

Chris Bingham is a medical device marketing professional with over 15 years of experience and leads Advanced Bionics’ global marketing team as Vice President of Global Marketing. In his position, Chris is responsible for global product strategy and marketing as well as training for clinicians. In his previous roles, Chris served in marketing roles for Abbott Laboratories’ Neuromodulation business and Medtronic’s Cardiac and Vascular Group. Chris holds an MBA from the Huntsman School of Business and a degree in Biology from Utah State University.

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