The companies will work to fuse Able Planet’s proprietary audio and communications technologies
with Bayer’s ViviTouch® electroactive polymer technology
to create a new standard for sound quality, clarity and speech intelligibility
(December 27, 2012) – Able Planet Incorporated and Bayer MaterialScience today announced that they will
explore the design, manufacture and distribution of next-generation audio, communication and hearing health
devices that fuse Able Planet’s award-winning proprietary technologies with Bayer’s ViviTouch® electroactive
polymer (EAP) technology. The resulting product portfolio is expected to set new standards for sound quality,
clarity and speech intelligibility.
The two companies aim to develop products that recreate The Live Sound Experience™. The co-developments
will focus on enhancing performance of existing consumer electronics and hearing health devices.
The ideal performance for high-end audio is the accurate reproduction of The Live Sound Experience™.
Current audio technologies struggle to replicate this experience, because fuller sounds can mask high tones
making speech and music sound muddled. LINX AUDIO®, winner of Best in Category at the International
Consumer Electronics Show, provides full rich bass sounds, clear high tones and intelligible speech that
enable you to Hear the Difference®. ViviTouch® electroactive polymer technology enhances the perception of
loudness, while reinforcing clarity with a motion technology that enables conduction of sound to the auditory
system through controlled contact with skin and bone. The technology comprises an extremely thin polymer
film upon which electrodes are printed. This film is form-fitted onto an audio device and creates wide area
surface contact with the skin, or the inside of the ear canal. A proprietary process allows the film to move
nimbly when applied with current, resulting in a highly efficient transmission of the audio signal coherent with
sound generated from the device driver. Combining these methods of sound delivery is expected to result in
unparalleled sound quality and speech intelligibility.
“Able Planet has a history of award winning products and technologies based on proprietary Hear the
Difference® technologies,” said Kevin Semcken, CEO Able Planet. “Fusing ViviTouch electroactive polymer
technology with these products is expected to enable the listener to Feel the Difference™ enhancing the user
experience, sound quality and clarity.”
Initial product developments will commence concurrently on gaming and home theater headphones, as well as,
communication and hearing health devices where the combination of proprietary technologies is anticipated to
create a new standard of performance in this growing market.
“The pairing of Bayer and Able Planet technologies is expected to create the next generation of audio and
communication products in some of the world’s most rapidly growing consumer electronics markets.” said Dirk
Schapeler, CEO of Artificial Muscle, Inc. a Bayer MaterialScience Company and maker of the ViviTouch®
electroactive polymer technology.
About Able Planet:
Expert in Audiology and Speech Language Sciences, Able Planet was founded on a hearing technology that
enables people with profound hearing loss to distinguish hard to hear sounds, many of whom have reported to
be able to hear new sounds for the first time in their lives. Over the past 7 years, the company has become a
leader in audio and communication devices through the development of products and technologies that not only
address hearing impairments, but are also preferred by experts in consumer audio. Today, Able Planet designs
and manufactures products that enhance sound quality, clarity and speech intelligibility for all people. And,
while the company continues to focus developments on products that connect people with hearing loss to the
world of sound, it is equally as motivated by technologies that help preserve hearing for those with normal
hearing. All Able Planet products are based on proprietary Hear the Difference® technologies.
About Bayer MaterialScience:
With 2011 sales of EUR 10.8 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies.
Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of
innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the
automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2011,
Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,800 people around the globe.
Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.