Automated System for Digital Measurements of Ear Canal Geometry
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-153
Topic Title: Automated System for Digital Measurements of Ear Canal Geometry
Proposal No.: N082-153-0773
Firm: Creare Inc.
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755
Contact: Jerry Bieszczad
Phone: (603) 643-3800
Web Site:
Abstract: The widespread incidence of hearing loss in veterans throughout the Armed Forces, coupled with the lack of compliance with earplug usage guidelines for active personnel, necessitates a new approach to hearing protection. When properly fitted and worn, custom earplugs have the potential to provide consistent, reliable hearing protection. Creare proposes to develop a new technological approach that will improve the fit while reducing the logistics burden associated with custom earplugs, and so facilitate the widespread deployment of these earplugs in the Navy. This work will include the development of new techniques for accurately measuring individual ear anatomy; balancing trade-offs between hearing protection and individual comfort levels; creation of a digital database of ear canal geometries to be used to evaluate variation in anatomic shape and its impact on earplug design and effectiveness; and the ability to digitally transmit, archive and retrieve anatomic data. In addition, we will develop methods to quantify changes in aural anatomy that occur over time.
Benefits: Our proposed system will provide accurate, repeatable measurement of ear canal geometry. Our digital representation of ear canal geometry will eliminate the need for handling, shipping, and storage of physical ear impressions. The resulting custom earplugs will provide improved comfort and protection, leading to increased usage and fewer incidents of hearing loss for personnel in the Navy and throughout the Armed Forces.