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Tencent Ethereal Audio Releases Breakthrough Technology to Help the Hearing Impaired


Tencent Ethereal Audio, an audio lab that is part of the Tencent Meeting live audio and video conferencing app, has released a new breakthrough technology to help those with hearing difficulties navigate a wide range of social situations. The technology, developed in partnership with Nurotron, the largest cochlear implant manufacturer in China, helps identify a person’s surroundings and run real-time noise recognition to isolate the sound of other humans from the background noise, improving the clarity and intelligibility of the cochlear implant by 40 percent.

The solution connects the cochlear implant with mobile phone hardware that enables wearers to truly identify environmental noise and isolate the sounds that are important for the wearer to hear. It also reduces the communication delay between the cochlear implant and the mobile device to less than 150 milliseconds, thus minimizing any hearing delay and greatly enhancing the listening experience. 

Current users of the Nurotron cochlear implant can upgrade to the third generation of the “New Generation Cochlear Implant System” featuring the Ethereal Audio technology.

The Ethereal Audio Lab has also collaborated with MED-EL, one of the world’s top four cochlear implant manufacturers, to jointly roll out the world’s first mobile application that integrates audiometry, assistive listening and remote hearing services, which enables the hearing-impaired to keep track of their hearing ability through the app’s hearing test feature. They can also hear more clearly in noisy environments through artificial intelligence-powered assistive listening, and remotely connect with rehabilitation doctors for consultation and rehabilitation guidance services. All these functions could largely offset the inconvenience caused by the pandemic. 

Ethereal Audio Lab and its partners jointly launched the “Ethereal Audio Campaign” in September 2020, mainly aiming to open up the Ethereal Audio AI technology for free to developers, manufacturers and partners with social responsibility for the hearing impaired, so as to enhance the noise reduction effect of cochlear implants and improve the using experience of cochlear implant wearers. Now the “Ethereal Audio Campaign” has actively mobilized social organizations and charity organizations to diversify the efforts to help the hearing impaired fit in the society.

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