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Dr. Henry Luo

Location: Kitchener, ON

Award: Award of Distinction

Category: Medical Equipment

Year: 2013

Innovation:

AntiShock™ technology was developed to combat the discomfort and annoyance associated with short and loud transient sounds such as doors slamming, dishes clanging or gun-shooting.

Winner Spotlight Video Transcript

Dr. Henry Luo: "My name is Henry Luo I'm working for Unitel in Kitchener, Ontario. My innovation was AntiShock Technology."

Don Hayes: "The idea with AntiShock is that when you tap a pen or slam a door or drop a plate, there's an intense transient [noise] that's created. If you take that and run it through a hearing aid where you're applying amplification, that could become remarkably uncomfortable."

Ara Talaslian: "In a nutshell what Henry's invention does, is that it allows for transient sounds to be comfortable without affecting the speech of a person that is talking to you."

Dr. Fournier: "This technology allows him to detect that sound, correct that sound, and deliver it to the person who can fit it in with the other background sounds which they're hearing."

Dr. Luo: "You know, transient sound is not a new problem. It has been, in the last many decades, a lot of people working on that. But nobody had found a good solution. Even for myself, I spent over two years trying to work out a solution, but it was simple."

Ara Talaslian: "Henry's achievement is not only the innovation of AntiShock per se, but having been able to put it onto the platform of a hearing instrument and for all of this to work in real time.

Don Hayes: "We go to the Christmas party, there's five or six people around standing at the bar and somebody drops a glass. The sound of that glass - the intense sound of that glass breaking - was much louder and had a much higher contrast compared to the environmental sound that we were hearing at the time, so everybody jumps… except Henry who starts, apparently, writing."

Dr. Luo: "This was leading me to find out that we are constantly contrasting [transient sounds], making a huge difference. I took a piece of the calendar from the wall, and then I started to write down the critical idea - leading to the innovation of AntiShock." 

Dr. Fournier: "It's a dramatic example of what is capable with signal processing, but at the same time it has been embraced. Doctor Luo received his award because he was the first person ever to do this. This is by no means his only contribution. This is one instance - one really good example - of something he's done that is creative, unique and special and makes a huge difference in people's lives."

Dr. Luo: "After many years' effort, eventually you know you've got something so great and it can help people to listen better. That's the biggest reward, for me."