VIP, August 1997
Geoffrey R. Ball, Vice President, Chief Technical Officer
We are proud to honor Geoffrey Ball as our VIP of the month
on HEARNET. Mr. Ball has made major strides in the hearing health field
and we are pleased to be able to recognize his talents and many achievements.
Mr Ball Geoffrey R. Ball is vice president and chief technical officer
for Symphonix Devices, Inc. and the inventor of Symphonix's breakthrough
hearing device, the Vibrant soundbridge. As CTO for Symphonix, Mr. Ball
is responsible for technology development and patent portfolio management.
Mr. Ball brings a lifetime of experience with hearing impairment to his
work for Symphonix. Hearing-impaired since the age of eight, Mr. Ball
was motivated to develop new hearing technology because of his frustration
with the only available solution for people with hearing loss -- the hearing
aid. From a young age, Mr. Ball believed it was technologically possible
to develop an implantable device which would provide greater hearing ability
with comfort and cosmetic appeal.
After graduating from the University of Oregon, where Mr. Ball developed
a strong interest in biomechanics and sports medicine. He then spent a
brief period working with Olympians at the United States Olympic Training
Center (Colorado Springs, CO). Mr. Ball left Colorado after accepting
a position as a biomedical engineer in a hearing research laboratory at
Stanford/VA Hospital (Stanford, CA). In the lab, his work focused on devices
to improve the functioning of the middle ear, the development of implantable
hearing devices and laser-based audiologic test systems. Additional research
areas included the middle ear, head and neck, prosthetic design and computer
applications. During this time, Mr. Ball also served as a consultant to
ReSound Corporation, a company that designs, develops, manufactures and
sells advanced hearing aids. At ReSound he contributed to basic and applied
research in electromagnetics, electronics and acoustics, as well as design
and construction of a human ear model for evaluation of semi-implantable
In 1991, Mr. Ball used his years of research and personal experience to
develop a revolutionary technology, the Floating Mass Transducer (FMT),
which is the key component of Symphonix's first product, the Vibrant soundbridge.
In 1993, Mr. Ball left his lab position at Stanford/VA Hospital to concentrate
on bringing his technology to market. The result was the establishment
of Symphonix Devices, Inc. and the development of the Vibrant soundbridge.
Currently, Mr. Ball works with Symphonix's R&D department to develop
future iterations of the Vibrant soundbridge, including a totally implantable
Mr. Ball received his undergraduate degree in human development performance
from the University of Oregon and holds a masters degree in systems management
from University of Southern California.
For more info on how Geoff Ball invented the Floating Mass Transducer,
essential element of the Vibrant soundbridge check out.