Cochlear Limited attended the CES for the first time this year, showcasing a virtual reality demo and an opportunity to speak with implant recipients. They showcased their Nucleus 7 Implant and Sound Processor, which the company released last year as the world’s first made-for-iPhone cochlear implant sound processor (read our coverage here).
The Nucleus 7 system is composed of two functioning parts: an external sound processor, and an internal implant. Sound is picked up through the external sound processor worn over-the-ear, and transmitted to a coil that sits behind the ear. The coil generates an RF signal that is transmitted to a receiver just under the skin. This receiver sends electrical signals to the implant, a thin wire with 22 electrodes that are surgically inserted into the inner ear. It lines the cochlea in a way such that each of the electrodes is positioned to stimulate a cochlear region that corresponds to a specific frequency of sound. The implant stimulates the cochlear nerve and transmits impulses to the brain that are perceived as sound. They’re different than typical hearing aids because hearing aids amplify sound (think microphone to a speaker, turned really loud) and these implants convert sound directly into electrical signals for the auditory nerve and brain.
The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is unique in that it has features that allow it to connect directly to Apple products, cancel ambient noise with its SmartSoundiQ with SCAN technology, pair with a regular hearing aid for bimodal hearing, and record sounds the processor picked up even when not in use and worn by the user.
Product page: Nucleus 7…