The CCi-MOBILE Vocoder
The UT-Dallas Costakis Cochlear Implant Mobile (CCi-MOBILE) research platform enables experimental research with hearing-aid (HA) and cochlear-implant (CI) devices. The platform substitutes the clinical sound processor (CI/HA) with an Android smartphone/tablet or a PC as a computing hardware to run custom speech processing algorithms. The flexibility offered by such a setup enables researchers to provide custom-designed electric and acoustic stimuli (EAS) to CIs and HAs bilaterally in a time-synchronized manner. With this bimodal (electric + acoustic) capability, the platform can be used to undertake studies with individuals who either use a CI in one ear and a HA in the contralateral ear, or use hybrid implants in one or both ears. The CCi-MOBILE software suite includes a range of research applications which address different experimental needs. In the present work, a real-time VOCODER is incorporated in the CCi-MOBILE platform to facilitate research involving acoustic simulations of CIs. Two traditional flavors of VOCODER processing are implemented, namely noise-band and sine-wave vocoding. Flexibility is provided to modify processing parameters such as number of channels, frequency band-widths, filter attributes, etc. This flexibility combined with the ability to conduct long-term studies beyond the laboratory in diverse naturalistic acoustic environments will help advance research in psychoacoustics.