The European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich has announced that Danish hearing aid producer Widex is in the race for the European Inventor Award 2012. Widex is nominated for its Computer Aided Manufacturing of Individual Shells for Hearing Aids (CAMISHA), a sophisticated method of manufacturing individual hearing aid shells, earmolds and ear pieces.
Fifteen finalists have been selected from more than 200 candidates for the award. Widex is one of only three to be nominated in the Industry Category for its breakthrough technology.
CAMISHA uses laser technology to make an impression of the hearing aid user's ear canal and turns the data into a 3D computer model, which is then used as a basis for the manufacturing of individual shells and earmolds that fit the user's ear canal exactly.
The method has greatly improved the comfort of in-the-canal hearing aids and allows for shells that are not only smaller and more discreet but fit the shape of the ear better. Moreover, it has made the manufacturing process far more easy and precise.
"In the past the manufacturing process was very cumbersome," explained Jan Tøpholm, CEO of Widex. "Our CAMISHA technology has become the dominant way of making shells and earmolds."
This Widex patented technology is licensed to all major hearing aid manufacturers and ear labs and has revolutionized the manufacturing of shells and earmolds across the industry. The company holds more than 150 patents worldwide.
"The hearing aid industry is a competitive, high-tech branch that requires you are constantly able to maintain and strengthen your expertise in innovation," said Tøpholm. "I am very proud of this honor. It illustrates the way our ability to innovate cements our technological leadership. CAMISHA technology has revolutionized the way we produce in-the-ear hearing aids and has made a huge difference for hearing aid users the world over."
Launched in 2006, the European Inventor Award is granted annually by the EPO to outstanding inventors for their contribution to technological, social and economic progress. The award is presented in five categories: industry, research, SMEs, non-European countries and lifetime achievement.
The winners of the 2012 EIA will be announced during an award ceremony in Copenhagen on June 14.