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EarControl™

Augmenting human-to-environment interaction with intuitive in-ear control.  

Our EarControl™ Vision

Your ears aren’t just for listening. With EarControl™, we want to give people an intuitive, intent-focused way to communicate and interact with their worlds.   

By detecting voluntary and automatic movement from one of the body’s smallest muscles, we believe that EarControl™ will turn ears into complex input and output tools.  

From acting as an extra ‘thumb’ in gaming, to providing hands-free control for augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), to changing the lives of people with neurological disabilities, such as motor neurone disease (MND/ALS). This non-verbal, hands-free control could have applications as diverse as people's needs.  

By licensing our technology IP, you can help us unlock the ear’s potential.

In-ear control

Give wearers greater independence over their lives with intentional, hands-free control.  

Device-agnostic

Integrate EarControl™ into non-intrusive in-ear technologies, from earbuds to hearing aids.  

Data capture capabilities

Combine with EarMetrics™ sensor technology to record biometric data from one device.  

Learn more about EarControl™ and its potential applications in our brochure. Simply share your email address to download yours.  

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Download the EarControl™ product sheet

How does EarControl™ work?

Think of EarControl™ as an in-ear computer mouse, one that can be integrated into devices that wearers are already using comfortably.

 

This mouse would have two main capabilities. Firstly, it could track the wearer’s eye gaze and ‘select’ the item they're focusing on. It could also allow them to ‘click’ by voluntarily tensing a small in-ear muscle, the tensor tympani – otherwise known as ‘ear rumbling’.

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Created with support from experts

EarControl™’s development has been supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and its Invention for Innovation (i4i) funding streams – the Product Development Awards and Connect Award.

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The potential for EarControl™

EarControl™ is in-ear technology that could bring complex control capabilities to multiple devices and scenarios. These scenarios could be as simple as answering the phone with an in-ear click, or skipping a music track without using your hands. They could also be transformative.

Here are just some of the ways that we imagine EarControl™ being used:

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Augmented and virtual reality

From performing surgery to travelling into space, AR and VR are helping professionals handle all manner of life-changing jobs. Yet in these potentially hazardous environments where total precision is required, being able to control AR/VR interfaces seamlessly and intuitively is crucial.

 

That’s where EarControl™ comes in. We believe that EarControl™ could bring transformative control capabilities to AR and VR applications where there haven’t been before. It could allow professionals to use graphical computer interfaces and robotics without their hands – whether they’re deep-sea diving or fighting fires.

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Interactive gaming

With both voluntary and automatic movement, EarControl™ could bring a new level to interactive gaming. It could democratise gaming for those with assistive needs, or simply act as an additional controller to enhance the overall experience.

 

To learn more about how EarControl™ could improve interactive gaming, read streamer Perri Karyal’s insights here.

Directional hearing

With many standard hearing aids trying to overcome the ‘cocktail party problem’, we believe that EarControl™ could provide an intent-focused solution. By empowering wearers to control the direction of their hearing aid’s microphone based on their surroundings, EarControl™ could enhance an already essential device.

 

To learn more about how EarControl™ and EarMetrics™ could differentiate hearing aids, read our use case here.

Non-verbal communication

We believe that some people who are becoming ‘locked in’ with late-stage neurological conditions may retain the ability to use EarControl™. This could provide additional input for text-to-speech tools and other non-verbal communication devices, even being used alongside eye-gaze trackers. When combined with EarMetrics™, EarControl™ could also use eye-gaze tracking as a biomarker for multiple health applications.

Assistive technology

EarControl™ could provide new, intent-focused control to people with a range of assistive needs.

This might be by enabling complex, hands-free control for people with restricted mobility. For people with prosthetic limbs, for instance, EarControl™ could ensure greater independence by responding to movement from within the ear.

Discover EarControl™ technology

Interested in bringing intuitive, in-ear control to your innovation? We’d love to hear from you. Simply get in touch to discuss licensing our technology.

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