Providing orientation, pointing out trends and highlights, offering contacts to manufacturers, and supplying all the relevant information to media representatives – these were the challenges that the EUHA had to meet once again this year.
The special services for journalists offered on 18 October 2006 included a media room, a guided tour of the trade exhibition as well as a small exhibition showcasing earmoulds. Approximately 50 media representatives attended the first day of the Congress, with more than half of them taking part in the guided tour of the trade exhibition.
Five special presentations were on the agenda of the 2-hour tour of the trade exhibition. A representative of each of the five manufacturers gave a brief presentation and was happy to answer questions from the media. What do the "new old-agers" expect from a hearing system? Dr Birgitta Gabriel from Siemens presented "Centra Active", a hearing system that is rechargeable and equipped with moisture protection. Using the "Delta" hearing system as an example, Stefan Schmidt at the Oticon stand explained how important design is alongside sophisticated technology. "Delta" was presented with the renowned red dot design award for 2006. A hearing instrument is expected to be comfortable, it should neither attract attention nor should it restrict the wearer in any way: a second generation of open fittings is on its way. Dieter Fricke from GN ReSound surprised his audience by presenting "Pulse" (which also uses rechargeable batteries and an "intelligent charging station"). There are several ways of fitting patients with unilateral hearing loss. Wolfgang Huep from bruckhoff & partner described the mode of operation and benefits of "hearing-aid glasses". A hearing system that learns and is able to talk was presented by Phonak's Birgit Ramin and Wolfgang Bennedik: the "Verve Steinway Edition", developed in cooperation with Steinway & Sons, the world-famous piano manufacturers.
Exhibits of earmoulds manufactured by Dreve, egger, and Heba were presented in the special showroom: colourful and imaginative, or conventional and unobtrusive – earmoulds to suit every taste. A number of "decorative earpieces" testified to the fact that earmoulds can be more than just essential components of hearing systems. Shaped like a flower, a parrot, or an eye, earmoulds may well be the next big thing in fashion accessories. Hearing aid acoustician Göran Schmidt (Hörgeräte Bonsel) was available to answer any questions and explain features and functionality.
Aesthetics and design, form and colour: one of the major trends in recent years has been a focus on the design of hearing systems. Hearing instruments from GN ReSound, Phonak, Hansaton, and Oticon that have received the red dot design award were on display at the showroom.
Thanks to Interton's audio case, journalists were given the chance to experience for themselves what it is like to hear using a hearing system. Sound, music, and speech specimens played from a simulation CD were another favourite with media representatives. Those who had only read about tinnitus, for example, were able to get an audio impression of what those affected are having to endure.