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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 hearing devices.

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 device.

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, the
essential element of the Vibrant soundbridge check out.



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