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Qualcomm (US) embeds smart tech from Flanders in earphones

Headquartered in Wevelgem (Flanders), tech firm Jacoti develops software to enhance hearing, such as the digital technology used in hearing aids. Because the demand for this ‘smart earwear’ is rapidly growing, US telecom giant Qualcomm will be integrating Jacoti’s innovations into millions of its high-quality Bluetooth devices worldwide, from wireless earphones to headsets.

Crowning years of pioneering work

From the outset, Jacoti’s mission has been to make the best hearing technology accessible to the public. Among other innovations, Jacoti has developed medically certified iPhone apps that perform hearing tests and transform Apple earphones into 'spare' hearing aids. “Thanks to these apps, we were able to collect a lot of useful data,” says Jacques Kinsbergen, Jacoti's founder and CEO. “Now, all those years of market research are paying off.”

Innovative tech from Flanders quality label

Among audiologists, Jacoti has been a household name for a number of years, but for manufacturers and consumers, the specialized hearing technology is somewhat new. “The idea is that the products will be sold in stores with a kind of 'Jacoti inside' label," says Kinsbergen. “Buyers of the earphones or headsets will then be able to download an app with which they can take a hearing test and calibrate their device to produce the best audio in all circumstances.”

This market still offers vast potential. The World Health Organization estimates that about 15% of the world's population suffers from hearing loss. All of these individuals could benefit from our technology.

Jacques Kinsbergen
founder and CEO of Jacoti

Front-row seat in a fast-growing market

Through the deal, Qualcomm – which recorded an annual turnover of almost USD 25 billion – secures its leadership position in the expanding earwear market, where worldwide sales are estimated to grow to 274 million pieces by 2023. If the new products achieve commercial success, Jacoti will share the profits. For each product sold, the company receives a license fee of “a few dollars”.

More info

Reported by
newspaper De Tijd
18 November 2020

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