Starkey's Halo 2: Finalist for 2017 SXSW Innovation Prize

  • By pugetsound
  • 05 Mar, 2017
Starkey Hearing Technologies is bringing the Halo 2 “made for iPhone” hearing aid to Austin’s famed music and media festival, South by Southwest. The hearing aid is a natural leader in a new generation of interactive hearing devices, and has been chosen as a finalist in SXSW’s prestigious 2017 Interactive Innovation Awards. Alongside four other finalists, Starkey’s Halo 2 has taken its place as one of the year’s top “Wearable Tech” products.

Standout Technology

What makes the Halo 2 so remarkable? Starkey has always placed an emphasis on user-friendly hearing technology, which serves them well in navigating simple and intuitive solutions for device connectivity. Halo 2 launched in March 2016, and the integration it offers with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch, helps normalize the role of hearing devices in patient’s lives. Direct sound streaming from linked devices lets users wirelessly manage their hearing experience through a wide array of communication and media. Taking advantage of smart phone features like GPS, the Halo 2’s associated app, TruLink Hearing Control, lets the user seamlessly assimilate into different sound environments through “geotagging” where the device saves location-specific hearing settings and automatically recalls them when returning to the same area. Halo 2 wearers can also use the TruLink app for interactive tinnitus relief with Advanced Multiflex Tinnitus Technology. Users can even have special iPhone features, like Siri, stream audio directly to their hearing aid.

Audio Clarity

With its appearance at SXSW, it deserves mention the advancements Starkey’s Halo 2 has made towards bringing true, clear musical sound to its users. Halo 2 uses a ground-breaking quad-core twin compressor arrangement to process sound, paired with Starkey’s own high-definition operating system and cutting-edge music algorithm. The result allows people with hearing loss to experience a new level of richness and clarity in musical sound. Halo 2 also features their signature technology for increased speech audibility, Acuity Directionality, which can be personalized via the intuitive controls of the TruLink app to adapt even in challenging and noisy sound landscapes.

Encouraging Hearing Health

Over 48 million people suffer from hearing loss today, but there’s a huge gap in when people seek treatment for their auditory health. On average, it takes a patient seven years from the time they first notice detrimental hearing loss to when they consult with a hearing specialist. During those seven years, gradual hearing loss can worsen and side effects, like social isolation and anxiety, can compound. The Halo 2 is designed especially with active, tech-savvy users in mind to encourage early detection of hearing impairment and promote the advantages of understanding solutions for hearing loss. When designing both the Halo 2 hearing device and the TruLink app, simplicity was emphasized. Flexible features are easy to understand and adjust. The device itself is streamlined, discreet and features a longer-lasting battery. The improved fluid technology of Halo 2 makes managing hearing loss a natural, integrated part of a busy modern lifestyle. Starkey recognizes that increased hearing aid performance helps drastically improve quality of life for those with hearing loss as well as destigmatizing hearing loss as a disability. Starkey prides itself in not only being an industry leader in technology, but also in its educational and philanthropic work worldwide. The Starkey Hearing Foundation has helped over one million people access hearing solutions.

Constant Acclaim

The newest, smallest model of the Halo 2 is a nearly-invisible receiver-in-canal (RIC) model, which debuted at the beginning of 2017 alongside an update to the TruLink app platform, TruLink 4.0. The company’s consistent development and improvement of audiological technology has not gone uncelebrated. The awards and accolades Halo 2 has garnered are impressive- and growing- including a Gold Product Design Award from the 2016 Spark Awards and an Inc. Magazine Best Design Award where it was also recognized as one of the “7 Most Brilliant Product Designs of 2016” Recently, alongside the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards, Halo 2 is also a finalist for the 2016 MN Tekne Award and an esteemed 2017 Edison Award in the “Health and Wellness” field.

SXSW 2017

This year marks SXSW’s 20th Interactive Innovation Awards. The award winners, selected from the small pool of finalists, will be announced March 14, 2017 during the annual festival in Austin, Texas. Recognizing outstanding achievement across technology formats, Halo 2 is the only hearing device being recognized by SXSW this year. Curious about the Halo 2 experience? Contact us at one of our Puget Sound Hearing locations to learn more about this remarkable hearing aid.

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