June 7, 2018
Sonion, the global leader in micro acoustic and micro mechanical technologies and solutions for hearing instruments and specialty earphones, and Valencell, the leading innovator in wearable biometric sensor technology, today announced a strategic partnership that will expand the boundaries for the use of biometric sensors in the ear. In the partnership Valencell provides the industry’s most advanced biometric sensor modules for hearables and wearables, which Sonion will optimize for size, power consumption and cost for in-ear and on-ear applications. The partnership focuses on designing, developing and manufacturing biometric sensing ear modules for the medical, hearing health, consumer and professional communications markets.
The partnership leverages Valencell’s expertise and experience as a leader in wearable biometrics and Sonion’s more than 40 years of experience as a leader in the development and manufacturing of products for the hearing health market. Under the partnership, Sonion will introduce a wide range of sensor modules for different applications in the ear and Valencell will continue to further develop its innovative portfolio of advanced, accurate biometric sensor capabilities for all form factors. Sonion will also integrate its world class balanced armature speakers among other components as part of the sensor modules.
Sonion’s manufacturing expertise in miniaturized components for ear-based devices is expected to result in significant reductions to the size, cost and power consumption of photoplethysmography (PPG)-based sensors for continuous heart rate, blood pressure, and other medical monitoring and fitness/wellness related functionalities into hearables, hearing aids and other ear-level devices.
The markets for hearables and hearing health devices are both predicted to show a steady growth. The consumer hearables segment is expected to grow at 48% CAGR through 2022, according to IDC, while the hearing health market is expected to continue to demonstrate stable growth numbers and increase 22% over the same period according to OrbisResearch.com
In addition, as part of the partnership, Sonion has made a strategic investment of an undisclosed amount in Valencell, making Sonion a significant shareholder in Valencell Inc.
“I am truly excited about the partnership with Valencell,” says Jesper Ahlmann Funding Andersen, President & CEO of Sonion a/s. “We are bringing the best of two worlds together. Biometric sensing is the next big thing for many of our customers, making the ear-level devices truly multi-functional. Joining forces with the global leader in this field – Valencell – brings accuracy and the possibility to add innovative new metrics to the products we develop for our customers, including advanced medical monitoring. We look forward to together setting a new standard for what is possible.”
“This partnership with Sonion brings tremendous value to the hearables and hearing health markets, as well as to our current and future customers and partners,” said Michael Dering, CEO of Valencell. “Sonion brings world-class expertise and capabilities in hearing health component development, manufacturing, and distribution. As demonstrated by Valencell’s foundational patents in biometric hearables, since foundation we have envisioned a world where traditional ear-worn devices can be used to improve public health. Valencell and Sonion share a strong vision and operating model for making major advancements in hearing health and hearable devices. We are excited about the great things to come.”
Sonion a/s is a Novo Holding a/s owned global leader in microacoustics and micromechanics for hearing health and other ear-level devices. The company – which is headquartered in Roskilde, Denmark – employs over 5.500 employees across sites in Denmark, Holland, USA, China, Poland, Vietnam and Philippines.
Valencell produces the most accurate wearable biometric sensor systems in the world and provides this patent-protected technology to consumer electronics manufacturers, mobile device and accessory makers, medical device makers, sports and fitness brands and gaming companies for integration into their products. Protected by more than 60 granted patents and more than 100 patents pending, Valencell’s technology can be used in wearables and hearables for virtually anyone, anywhere, doing anything. Their technology is scalable to multiple form-factors such as earbuds, smartwatches, armbands and wrist devices and is currently integrated into more biometric wearable devices than any other technology provider in the world.