Is Samsung ready to enter the market?
- Published on 12 January 2016
Rumours are strong once again that Samsung are about to unveil a line of Bluetooth hearing aids. In late December 2015, a device with model number SM-R790 appeared on the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) database. The device description states Samsung Bluetooth hearing aid and it lists the device as an end product.
Samsung has also applied for the “Earcle” trademark in South Korea with the documentation referencing hearing aids in its product description.
Hearing aid and technology patents have been filed over the previous 18 months by Samsung, one of them is software called “Sound Radar” which shows a user where sound is coming from – this is shown graphically on a smartphone app.
Using sound to help customers is not new to Samsung. The Galaxy S4 has a special sound enhancement feature that could adjust sound to suit a person’s hearing when listening to music or a telephone conversation through headphones. The Galaxy also incorporates a microphone array, which – when recording meetings – not only records the sound but also indicates where the sound is coming from.
During 2015 there were numerous reports about Samsung entering the hearing aid market and the patents that had been filed. The Hearing Review (April 2015) referenced a patent that was filed back in April 2013 for a “small hearing aid” and Business Korea reported the same month that Samsung Electronics had placed an order worth $13.9million for amplifiers (for hearing aids). A launch is anticipated at the beginning of 2016. Whilst no hearing devices were shown at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early January, the signs do appear to be getting stronger that a launch is imminent from the Korean manufacturer.
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