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Conversations with Brent EdwardsDuring 18 years in the hearing industry, Brent Edwards, has developed a distinguished reputation in research and development. As Vice President of Research at Starkey Hearing Technologies for over a decade, he has helped transform the company into an innovative industry technology leader. He has led the development of technologies that have benefited hearing aid wearers and practitioners, including new signal processing algorithms, fitting procedures, diagnostic and outcome measures, and wireless technologies. At Conversations, Edwards shared with us that his career has been guided by one key question: How do hearing and the brain interact? He explained that from two tiny eardrums, human beings create a representation of the entire world around them—seamlessly, and without even thinking. His work is driven by the fact that dysfunction in cognitive function and memory loss in the older population is often not actually due to dementia, but rather due to the brain working in overdrive to hear. Through his work, he has tried to push the industry standard from producing hearing aids that allowed people to hear sounds better to designing solutions that address the unmet needs—including poor quality of life, memory loss, and depression—of hearing aid users. Moving forward, Edwards explained that the question is in the hearing industry is no longer, “What’s the future of hearing aids?” but rather, “What is the future of audio wearable computers?”

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