Patent published on November 7, 2023

Starkey's New Patent Might Let Livio AI Hearing Aids Control Your TV and Phone

In a world increasingly dominated by technology, ease of interaction with our devices has become a significant area of development. Starkey Laboratories has risen to address this issue with their newly published patent (US11812213B2), titled "Ear-wearable gadgets for control of other devices and related methods", which seeks to simplify how we interact with gadgets around us.

The crux of the problem lies in the complexity of controlling various gadgets like TV sets, thermostats, or ovens. In many instances, the operation of these devices requires a dedicated remote control which, often, can be complicated and counterintuitive. Furthermore, with the advent of voice-controlled devices, they brought with them the issue of multiple gadgets within hearing range reacting undesirably to a vocal command meant for a single device.

Starkey's patent seeks to unravel these knots of confusion. At the heart of this innovation is an ear-wearable gadget that can discern which device the user is trying to control by observing the user's head movements and position. The device analyzes these parameters and uses them to execute the command on the intended gadget, reducing the possibility of undesired reactions from other devices.

Imagine a world where controlling your TV, adjusting your room's thermostat, or even preheating your oven can be done with the use of a single simple wearable gadget. Without the fuss of learning various remote controls, or worrying about multiple devices reacting to one's voice commands, this could be a game-changer in accessibility and ease of device interaction. In practical terms, someone hard of hearing using Starkey's Livio AI Hearing Aids could simply adjust their head to face their TV set and request a channel change, without the need of reaching for a remote or raising their voice.

However, while this new technology is promising, it is important to remember that patents do not guarantee products. The success of Starkey's ear-wearable gadget in controlling other gadgets depends on many factors like market acceptance, manufacturing, and more. So while this piece of technology holds a potential game-changer, we'll have to wait to see if it truly becomes a part of our everyday lives.

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