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In advance of Eurosatory 2024, ESD spoke at great length with Carsten Aagesen, Senior Vice President for Global Sales & Marketing at INVISIO. While the company is perhaps best known for being a pioneer of its ubiquitous jawbone conduction microphone and in-ear headsets for militaries, gendarmeries and public order services worldwide, Aagesen shared insights about INVISIO’s advanced technologies and recent developments with ESD’s at-large editorial contributor, Curtis Hand.

Carsten Aagesen, Senior Vice President for Global Sales & Marketing at INVISIO. (Photo: INVISIO)

ESD: What are the advantages of the new INVISIO X7 tactical in-ear headset?

Carsten Aagesen: The new INVISIO X7 in-ear headset excels on all important parameters for an in-ear headset by perfecting ease of use, comfort and hearing protection. Its predecessor, the INVISIO X5, already sets the bar on audio performance and situational awareness, and the X7 aims to sets a new industry benchmark.

A range of new features have been developed using extensive feedback from in-field user experiences. This includes an ergonomic design perfected to fit the ear, soft materials to ensure comfort for prolonged usage and the introduction of headset sleeves to protect from wear and tear and provide a more secure and comfortable fit.

The headset weighs just 47 g, minimising the wearer’s load, and the small compact design ensures minimal interference with eyewear or headgear, without compromising hearing protection, and simultaneously facilitating superior situational awareness.

A new integrated voice pick-up (VPU) sensor picks up vibrations from the inner ear and transforms them into speech without the need for a specific in-ear contact point. The latter makes fitting of the headset fast and easy. The X7’s hear-through microphones are positioned within the external contours of the outer ear, utilising the outer ear’s capability of detecting the origin of sounds and providing full 360-degree situational awareness.

And there is a solution for all users regardless of ear size and shape. There is a choice of three different headset sleeves with ergonomically shaped INVISIO EarWings as well as a choice of different ear tips including either foam tips, tri-flanged tips or INVISIO CustomFit ear tips for ultimate personalisation.

ESD: Who is it ideally suited for?

Aagesen: The headset has been designed for professional users within the defence and public safety industry. The X7 is extremely flexible and mission versatile. It is headwear-agnostic and will work with almost all tactical helmets, as well as working with gas masks and other respiratory systems without impeding communications. The small design minimises visibility, giving a tactical advantage in civilian scenarios and missions where other headsets can appear bulky and conspicuous, adding to the variety of use cases in which it can be deployed.

For those keen on trying the headset there will be several demo stations at the INVISIO booth at Eurosatory 2024 (Hall 5A Stand C126) as well as an opportunity to enter a contest to win a complete INVISIO X7 comms kit.

ESD: I have a complete X5-V50 comms kit – and that performs brilliantly. The X7 certainly takes that end-user experience to a greater level of awareness, comms, and protection, so what will INVISIO be presenting at Eurosatory?

Aagesen: There will be several live demos and opportunities to get ‘hands on’ with some of our latest developments. Besides demo’ing the new INVISIO X7 in-ear headset, we will focus on creating an efficient set-up of body-worn devices for audio, data and power for the dismounted soldier. This is where the INVISIO V60 II ADP demo comes in: an advanced hub and push-to-talk (PTT) device bridging audio, data and power.

Another gap we are bridging is the communication between the dismounted soldiers and mounted crews. Here, the small compact and portable INVISIO Intercom system now comes with an app, INVISIO Control, which helps comms professionals manage radios connected to the intercom system pre-mission or ‘on the go’.

Finally, we’ll announce our plans to provide wireless capabilities, INVISIO Link, to the Intercom system.

Photo 2 – INVISIO Intercom system in the Eurosatory launch configuration. (Photo: INVISIO)

Photo 2 – INVISIO Intercom system in the Eurosatory launch configuration. (Photo: INVISIO)

ESD: When will these be available?

Aagesen: Both the INVISIO X7 and the INVISIO V60 II ADP are ready to order. The INVISIO Control app requires an INVISIO Intercom system but the app itself is already available for download, initially for Windows applications, with an Android version to follow soon. INVISIO Link, the wireless intercom solution, is expected to be released for sales in the first half of 2025.

ESD: Where do you see the greatest need for these product solutions?

Aagesen: Providing more advanced communications and hearing protection solutions that work seamlessly across mounted and dismounted scenarios is a must for the modern warfighter. The same goes for smart and efficient solutions to integrate and optimise the real estate of body-worn devices to reduce both the cognitive and physical burden of soldiers.

ESD: Why is there a lot of ‘buzz’ in the marketplace about AI-enhanced software? How is this technology applied at INVISIO?

Aagesen: INVISIO is the first within our industry to apply AI in our communications solutions and we’ve used the technology to improve audio – and more specifically speech intelligibility. We have trained our algorithms to distinguish between noise and speech, filtering out all unwanted noise. It has also enabled us to use technology or components we would not otherwise been able to use because it would compromise audio quality. When developing new products, it’s always a trade-off between physical and software-defined applications.

We have only scratched the surface of the capability of AI, and it remains to be seen how AI will transform hearing protection and communication for the users. But at INVISIO we are excited to be at the forefront of such an exciting frontier for the industry.

ESD: Thank you so much; your time and insight are truly beneficial for our subscribing defence professionals across NATO and Frontex.

INVISIO develops and sells advanced communication systems that enable professionals in noisy and mission-critical environments to communicate and work effectively while protecting their hearing. The company combines specialist knowledge in acoustics and hearing with broad engineering know-how including in software, materials technology and integration. The company’s solutions are marketed under the two brands INVISIO and Racal Acoustics.  

Sales are via the headquarters in Copenhagen and sales offices in the USA, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Thailand and via a global network of partners. INVISIO’s registered office is in Stockholm and the company is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (IVSO).

INVISIO develops and sells advanced communication systems that enable professionals in noisy and mission-critical environments to communicate and work effectively while protecting their hearing. The company is now using AI to improve speech intelligibility by filtering out all unwanted noise. (Photo: INVISIO)