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Tonality in Cochlear Implants

Cochlear_implantCurrent cochlear implants lack the ability to transmit pitch in sound to patients Ð a crucial lack not only for fully hearing music, but especially for speakers of tonal languages such as Chinese.  Our research has already shown and patented an approach to providing tone for implant patients, but success has only been demonstrated in the laboratory.  To translate this work to the millions of users of cochlear implants, we have developed a real-time and low-latency pitch estimator. This estimator and the needed frequency shift have been implemented in real time on a portable, battery-powered processor. Patient tests are ongoing.