“Wave” is a mobile app I am developing. This app will be an alternative, to the common hearing aid which can create auditory feedback, costs thousands of dollars, and requires coin cell batteries to operate. The Wave app will be compatible with IOS and Android devices, and is pairable with wireless bluetooth earbuds with an integrated mic (for example, the app can be paired with Apple’s Airpods). The wireless earbuds paired with the app, will provide a low cost, accessible hearing augmentation solution that can be used as an alternative to hearing aids. Wave will bypass audio input from the integrated mic, and output the audio through the earbud speakers. This product will be available COTS, and is intended for seniors, and anyone who is hearing impaired. Additional features Wave will have include: access to common agents (e.g., Alexa, Siri…), customizable equalization of the input and output, rechargeable, speech-to-text converter, and text-to-speech converter (for example, this converter can be used to read an email to the user, and send the output straight to the user’s earbuds). This innovation is important, as approximately 360 million people around the world are hearing impaired, and current hearing aid devices are highly expensive, making them inaccessible to many. The Wave (for sound waves) App could potentially save users thousands of dollars, making hearing aid devices accessible to a larger demographic.

What inspired you (or your team)?

The inspiration for this project was my Nana. My Nana has had hearing aids for many years, and is often unable to hear what we are saying, due to the poor technology of in her hearing aids, and auditory feedback. This inspired me to figure out a way I can improve the technology for my Nana and other hearing impaired individuals undergoing the same experience. I also hoped to find a way to make hearing aids accessible to a larger demographic. From there I discovered that an item that I use every single day, can be used in the place of hearing aids, and is more cost effective than hearing aids. I decided to continue to pursue the idea, and roughly planned out a mobile application that could turn earbuds into hearing aids. This app is “Wave”, and I am going to continue to develop this app.