I didn’t think you could get excited about a hearing aid until I went to Unitron.

Unitron is a global company, founded in Waterloo Region, that designs and manufactures some of the best hearing aids in the world, but they don’t call them hearing aids. They call them hearing “instruments,” and talk about them with reverence; handle them with the ginger delicacy most reserve for a Stradivarius violin.

You can tell, walking around Unitron and catching their infectious excitement for their work, that they love hearing instruments so much because of the challenge they represent. It has to be comfortable enough to wear all day, tiny and look good or the user won’t wear it, since — as VP of Research and Development Ara Talaslian told me — Unitron is making a product “that, a priori, nobody wants.”

On top of it all, it needs to have a computer inside it that can network with other devices and is smart enough to discern speech from noise. Tall order.

The engineers at Unitron have some impressive solutions, and were good enough to talk about them with Communitech News for the latest episode of We Built This.

About The Author

Phil Froklage
Digital Journalist/Multimedia Producer

Phil Froklage is a writer, filmmaker and journalist in Waterloo Region obsessed with the future. Passionate about science and technology — and how it shapes our world — Phil likes nothing more than being surprised by the amazing things human beings can do.