STÄFA, Switzerland - Sonova Holding AG, one of the world's leading providers of hearing solutions, opened an innovation lab inside the Communitech Innovation Hub at Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. With hearing instruments moving from single purpose devices to multifunctional solutions, it is key for Sonova to explore how such solutions can be seamlessly integrated into the lives of customers. The lab will serve as an innovation excellence and experimentation center for creating the future of assisted hearing – from defining and prototyping concepts to conducting user testing and developing solutions with continuous user validation. With the lab located at Communitech, in Kitchener, Ontario, it can leverage the vast Canadian tech ecosystem in the region while fostering relationships with other corporate labs, startups and academia. Additionally, the close vicinity of Unitron Headquarters, Sonova`s second strongest hearing aid brand, will also be beneficial for the collaboration.
The opening of the innovation lab at Communitech marks another milestone in driving Sonova's innovation leadership. "It is our belief that innovation flourishes when we create a space and time where our creative talents can share ideas and experiment with new solutions," says Arnd Kaldowski, CEO of the Sonova Group. "This is why we are really excited to open an innovation lab here at Communitech, and we are looking forward to working within this vibrant tech community. We are convinced that this is one of the best environments to create new applications and solutions for the future of assisted hearing."
Imagine and create the future of assisted hearing
The lab will be a center for innovation and experimentation to help Sonova imagine and create the future in assisted hearing and other consumer solutions. Engaging directly with customers and partners – including corporates, startups, scaleups, and academia – in the Communitech ecosystem, the lab team will work on solving consumer problems and developing meaningful applications and services by solving problems for our customers. To this end, the team will define and prototype concepts, conduct user testing and develop solutions quickly with continuous user validation to ensure that these really meet the needs of consumers.
"In a connected world where hearing devices are becoming multifunctional, we want to leverage our new lab to explore these new opportunities and develop market changing hearing solutions," says Andi Vonlanthen, GVP Research & Development at Sonova. "Working closely with our internal teams, our R&D competence centers and Unitron Headquarters just around the corner, we want to drive innovation to elevate hearing instruments to become healthy living companions."
eSolutions for the future
Sonova continuously strives to further develop its portfolio of eSolutions to allow people with hearing loss enjoy complete autonomy in a fully networked world of hearing by further expanding digital channels to establish one-to-one, real-time relationships with our customers. Digital technology and connectivity offer multiple opportunities that go far beyond the individual hearing instrument, creating a digital experience that brings together, empowers, and supports the healthcare provider and the user through all stages of the hearing journey – ranging from online-based histories, remote support and user-specific fine tuning in real time.
• Highest R&D spending in the hearing aid industry: above 150 Mio. USD (FY 2018/19)
• More than 1,600 active granted patent and design rights
• Partnerships with around fifty top-class universities and centers of excellence and technology
• First company to develop a microchip granting universal Bluetooth® connectivity to all smart phone types and almost all Bluetooth-enabled devices
• Pioneer in eAudiology and eSolutions