Sometimes when I’m snapping on my Baha® Sound Processor in the morning, I marvel that his little, unimpressive looking box can accomplish the amazing things that it does. So it was really cool to get this inside look into how the new Baha 5 Sound processor was designed!
So, how was it done? How did Cochlear develop the world’s smallest sound processor that delivers all the power and the same sound quality as larger sound processors? Because although the Baha 5 Sound Processor is 20% smaller than comparable devices, it still delivers the same power output as the industry-leading Baha 4 Sound Processor.
Get an inside look into Cochlear’s innovative process in this short film, as told by the people behind the products at Cochlear:
Let me tell you how we developed the Baha 5 Sound Processor.
We started by asking the question: What do you want from your future sound processor? The answer: great hearing performance, but in a smaller and more discrete package. So our first challenge was go find out how we could shrink the size of the sound processor, but still make sure it was loud enough. So we had to develop a totally new technology we call BC Drive. With this break through, we are able to design and produce transducers that are more than twice as efficient as the traditional design. That let us reduce the size of the Baha 5, without losing the power the sound processor needs to let you hear better.
Due to the size and accuracy of our components, we had to automate our assembly. So we partnered with a company that usually produces robots for electronics and precision industries. There was no off the shelf robots that we could use, that was capable of assembling our products, so we had to custom build a robot to meet our requirements. One of the main advantages with robotic assembly is repeatability. This results in better quality and reliability. You just can’t get that level of accuracy without a robot.
The other thing they told us, was that they wanted to connect seamlessly with other devices, such as phones, tables, and other smart devices, so the challenge here was to develop a technology that would provide this direct to device connection. Our new platform, Ardium Smart, incorporates this technology. and we collaborated with Apple to make it work. This means you can stream audio directly from your iPhone and iPad. This isn’t possible with any other sound processor available today. And our course, as with any new product, we needed to make sure that it would work as designed.
We have state of the are testing facilities here in the building. We conduct lab tests, feedback tests, and of course even home trial sin the patient’s real life situation. To carry out all these tests, we rely on a large numbers of Baha users who form our test team. They evaluate all the aspects of the sound processor; from their own personal experiences and their preferences. It is critical that we have a solid understanding how the product works and how it performs in the real world, before we release it out the door.
“Good luck with the test. See you in two weeks.”
“I just got my new Baha 5 Sound Processor. It sound great! See you soon.”