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Multifunctional remote control from Siemens turns hearing instruments into audio platform

At the 55th International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians EUHA 2010 in Hannover, Germany, Siemens launched its new, multifunctional “miniTek” remote control for hearing instruments. Hardly bigger than a matchbox, this device is both a remote control that controls the respective hearing instrument and a platform that connects to communications or entertainment electronics. It works with nearly all current Siemens hearing systems, even with the smallest in-the-ear (ITE) instruments that completely disappear in the auditory canal.

A lot is expected of modern hearing systems; the days when they “only” had to amplify the words spoken by someone are long gone. When at home, people communicate using a landline phone, and while out and about with a cell phone or over the Internet. People don’t listen to music only on their stereos, they also listen to it on MP3 players or cell phones while away from home. Televisions and computers provide entertainment and laptops are used to watch movies.

Siemens has developed the “miniTek” multifunctional remote control so that from now on the sound from all these devices will be able to be transmitted directly into a hearing instrument. This audio platform connects the hearing instruments to nearly every type of modern electronic communications and entertainment equipment using wireless standards such as Bluetooth or cable. Adapters that are connected to a TV, for example, make it possible for the sound to be transmitted via the “miniTek” to the hearing instrument wearer. Furthermore, the system can connect the hearing instruments with the FM transmitters commonly used in schools and elsewhere and with the induction loops installed in movie theaters or function rooms.

Since the “miniTek” can process information from multiple devices simultaneously, its users will be prepared for nearly every hearing situation life offers. For example, a television can transmit sound via a connected “Tek”-Transmitter directly to the “miniTek”. Hearing system wearers can individually set their personal volume preferences. A stereo or a second television can also be connected to the “miniTek” with a second “Tek”-Transmitter. At the same time the “miniTek also stays connected to phones, which signal incoming calls directly to the hearing instruments. If the wearer accepts the call by pressing a button on the “miniTek”, the instrument automatically switches over from the television or stereo feed. When watching TV, a person can also indulge in a conversation at the same time.

The “miniTek” remote control works with almost all of the current Siemens hearing systems. It weighs only 55 grams and is not much bigger than a matchbox. All of the controls are designed so that they are easy to feel without looking at the remote, making it possible to operate it intuitively. In addition to having a button for accepting telephone calls and a button for connecting to external audio sources, the remote control can be used to directly adjust the volume and select the listening program. The integrated rechargeable battery lasts a day depending on use and can be completely recharged in only three hours.

“miniTek” will be available beginning of 2011.

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 48,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2009 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 11.9 billion euros and profit of around 1.5 billion euros. For further information please visit:

The here mentioned products are not commercially available in all countries. Due to regulatory reasons the future availability in any country cannot be guaranteed. Please contact your local Siemens organization for further details.

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