Press Release

Mannheim start-up Vibrosonic receives backing by ZEISS Ventures to drive development and commercialization of its break-through Hearing Contact Lens® technology

A prototype is currently being tested in clinical studies

23 October 2023

Oberkochen, Germany | 23 October 2023 | ZEISS Group

The ZEISS Ventures portfolio is further growing with the investment in Vibrosonic, a high-tech start-up based in Mannheim, Germany, that develops innovative hearing solutions based on its patented Hearing Contact Lens® technology.

Vibrosonic, founded in 2016, is specialized in developing hearing solutions that offer superior sound quality and enable people with hearing loss to participate in their daily life without limitations. This is made possible by the world’s first MEMS-based loudspeaker that is placed directly on the eardrum - without surgery - transmitting sound straight and uninterrupted to the middle and inner ear. The Hearing Contact Lens® offers a broader spectrum of sound enabling easier and clearer voice recognition and better music perception without the need to occlude the ear canal.

Mannheim start-up Vibrosonic receives backing by ZEISS Ventures to drive development and commercialization of its break-through Hearing Contact Lens® technology

Mannheim start-up Vibrosonic receives backing by ZEISS Ventures to drive development and commercialization of its break-through Hearing Contact Lens® technology

Vibrosonic alpha is the first hearing solution based on the Hearing Contact Lens, which received regulatory approval in 2021 and is currently being tested in clinical studies. Associated measurement results and user feedback indicate that Vibrosonic® alpha is on a good path to bringing the audiological benefits of the Hearing Contact Lens® to life in a complete and certified hearing system.

“While there have been significant developments in hearing aid technology, we believe that Vibrosonic’s approach is truly unique. It will not only enable much better audio quality for hearing impaired patients but also offers the potential to noticeably improve ease-of-use and long-term wearing comfort, which is another frequently overlooked issue for the often elderly affected.”, says Gerrit Schulte Head of ZEISS Ventures.

“Our technology has made significant progress in recent years and meanwhile has received regulatory approval for commercialization of our first-generation product: Vibrosonic alpha. Further developments and technical optimization as well as miniaturization will elevate our hearing systems to the next level in the upcoming years. We are pleased that ZEISS Ventures is supporting us in this mission, not only by providing funding, but more importantly with its deep medical and industrial knowledge,” explains Dr. Dominik Kaltenbacher Founder and CEO of Vibrosonic.

About Vibrosonic

Vibrosonic GmbH is a pioneer in the field of medical technology. Our vision is to connect people with the sound of life. Vibrosonic’s core technology, a Hearing Contact Lens®, is the world’s first piezoelectric hearing aid speaker that is worn directly on the eardrum. This results in a direct and mechanical sound transmission to the auditory organs of people with hearing impairment and a particularly wide sound spectrum. The first hearing system Vibrosonic® alpha has been approved in 2021.
The Hearing Contact Lens® is the result of a research project between the University Hospital Tübingen, the Fraunhofer IPA, and other partners. Today, Vibrosonic GmbH combines research and development, as well as manufacturing and administration, in its location at the Mannheim Technology Park.
Vibrosonic GmbH currently employs 30 people.

For more information on Vibrosonic GmbH, please visit www.vibrosonic.com.

Press Contact Jörg Nitschke

Head of Corporate Brand, Communications and Public Affairs
ZEISS Group

Press Contact Regine Heitlinger

Vibrosonic GmbH
Franz-Volhard Str. 3
68167 Mannheim

About ZEISS

ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling 8.8 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2022).

For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world's leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.

With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company's significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS' technology and market leadership. ZEISS invests 13 percent of its revenue in research and development – this high level of expenditure has a long tradition at ZEISS and is also an investment in the future.

With over 40,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 30 production sites, 60 sales and service companies and 27 research and development facilities (status: 31 March 2023). Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.

Further information at www.zeiss.com

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    Mannheim start-up Vibrosonic receives backing by ZEISS Ventures to drive development and commercialization of its break-through Hearing Contact Lens® technology

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