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S Series Hearing Aid with Gesture Control


Medical: Optimizing Usability and Workflow

The hearing industry’s first touch control makes it easy for users to control their hearing aids with discrete, natural gestures.

For hearing aid users, adjusting volume and digital listening modes has been a daily frustration. In spending time with hearing aid users in their homes, we experienced the huge emotional toll that this problem takes on users who feel disabled by their inability to operate controls that were not created with their needs in mind.

Fueled by this discovery, we developed solutions for Starkey’s next-generation hearing aids that would make user interaction more comfortable and intuitive. The S Series™ behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid with Sweep™ Technology allows users to adjust settings with the subtle sweep of a finger. An upward sweep turns the volume up; a downward sweep turns volume down, and a quick touch switches between digital listening modes.

Karten Design tested the gestural interface extensively with potential users to ensure that it was a valuable, intuitive addition to Starkey’s product line. We relied on interviews, surveys, observations and video documentation of users interactions with a prototype device to refine the interface until it was universally easy to understand and use.


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