The first non-obvious advancement of the United Sciences technology was scanning inside a cavity—that is, putting a scanner in a hole. It was considered impossible to get light in and out of a small hole for the purposes of imaging because all conventional 3D scanning technology used only forward illumination to scan the surface of objects and not their interior. United Sciences turned scanning inside out by developing a proprietary lens structure that projected radial illumination within the cavity thereby enabling the scanner to project sideways within a cavity.
The vast majority of today’s in-ear products are currently manufactured as “universal-fit” devices—sometimes with limited personalization/sizing capability. However, because the shape of every human ear is different, many in-ear products suffer from issues with fit, attenuation, comfort—or all three. We believe that the advent of accurate digital scans will enable the development of superior, custom in-ear products across a wide variety of applications.
United Sciences has developed a revolutionary and elegant solution to a problem vexing the audiology, custom hearing protection and consumer electronics industries; how do we make the process of obtaining detailed information of the human ear less invasive, more accessible, and more reliable in an effort to create custom and personalized devices. The procurement of data through custom made in-ear devices has required the use of impression molds for a long period of time to the dissatisfaction of patients, manufacturers and audiologists.
United Sciences has granted GN Otometrics A/S global license rights to develop, manufacture, distribute, and sell United Sciences’ 3D ear scanning technology under the brand name Otoscan exclusively for use by audiology/hearing care professionals for the custom fitting of hearing aids. To learn more about GN Otometrics visit www.otometrics.com or www.earscanning.com
Why is this Disruptive?
The current means for obtaining an accurate map of a subject’s inner ear canal imposes a number of practical barriers that further frustrate the development of more custom applications. Taking impressions (typically with silicone impression material) requires specialized training, an inventory of consumable supplies, and is often viewed as an invasive or unpleasant process by the consumer—not to mention the risk of attachment of impression material to the tympanic membrane (ear drum).
United Sciences believes that digital scanning technology will eventually become commonplace for obtaining accurate, detailed maps of the ear canal, which will in turn, enable the rapid development of custom products with new functionality that perform better than current universal-fit alternatives.
United Sciences’ core hole scanning technology can be applied to all precision engineering and machining holes as part of a precise, non-contact measurement, diagnostics, and analytics solution. Our scanning technology is best applied to manufacturing processes where precise metrology, quality and repeatability are the most important and determining factors as our solution can create significant productivity gains, save meaningful rework and labor costs on behalf of manufacturers, and create higher quality, safer end products.
Why is this Disruptive?
The majority of hole inspection within current aerospace and automotive manufacturing processes is done by hand with multiple inspection tools, which is slow and subjective and accounts for the majority of rework costs. A single airplane can utilize a thousand different contact-based gauged to take the different necessary readings and measurements.
United Sciences’ hole scanning technology is the missing link that enables a major leap in manufacturing productivity by doubling throughput and creating a substantial return on capital by automating and digitizing the hole inspection process, improving quality while creating tremendous industry cost and time savings for OEMs by reducing inspection time and eliminating unnecessary rework.
Learn more about Aerospace and Precision Manufacturing.