The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgard, Germany is testing prototypes of a new hearing aid that could offer high performance for very low prices.
Its designers say the device will feature a 1.2mm electroacoustic transducer, the part that converts electronic signals into sound waves. The device will sit between the inner and middle of the ear, transmitting signals to the inner parts of the ear through mechanical vibrations. Despite its small size, the device will have an output volume of up to 120 decibels.
Developers project that the low cost of production should keep the price of the devices for patients fairly low as well.