While walking to Gate A-68 to board my flight to Nuremberg from Frankfurt, I was wondering what I should expect for the next three days at the EUHA (European Union of Hearing Aid Acousticians) show. It was my first time attending the conference, which is now in its 64th year.
As soon as I arrived at the gate, it became immediately clear: there were representatives from every aspect of the ecosystem within the hearing aid market – from semiconductors, batteries, ODM and OEM companies, to accessory vendors, wholesalers, doctors and users alike. By the time I settled into my seat, I already knew the next several days would be extremely valuable.
The next three days were a whirlwind, to say the least. The show kicked off the next morning with approximately 140 vendors including the “Big-5”, showcasing some of the latest and greatest applications in the assisted hearing space. Many of them had attended year over year with large booths showing the various needs and segments of the markets they address through products, partnerships and acquisitions, while smaller companies were mixed in, showing innovative solutions. As expected, one of the big themes at the show was how devices are getting smaller and smarter – longer battery life, smaller footprint, more on-device processing and much more. Even battery vendors are becoming more relevant because there is an opportunity to innovate within their solutions which can then fit into small form factor devices.
Battery innovation, in addition to next-generation hearables, is something we have been very focused on at Energous. That is why we announced a strategic partnership with ZPower at the show that will bring a small form factor battery charging solution to the hearing aid market. We also saw the launch of the Prima W hearing aid from NewSound, a next-generation hearing aid with full BLE-based control for charging.
Feedback at the show was extremely positive: our team was heads down all three days meeting with customers, partners, prospects and others who are interested in our wireless charging 2.0 solution and its impact on the market. In speaking with many folks and based on themes from the show, it was clear they all are looking for a charging solution that can provide orientation flexibility in a smaller size, especially for in-the-ear devices.
On the long flight back home, I was able to reflect on conversations at the show and extract key learnings to bring back to the team. One thing I know for sure is the hearing aid market is ripe for innovation and our technology is exactly the solution many of these companies are seeking for their future products.
Last but not least, I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out to the EUHA tradeshow team, my colleagues Gordon Bell, Raymond Rand and Chris Grigorean who were with me in Germany, as well as everyone at Energous in San Jose and our Costa Mesa office working hard to make Wireless Charging 2.0 a reality.