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Smart Glove Seeks to Help Solve Hearing Loss

Friday, June 15, 2018 10:38:01 AM Australia/Melbourne

Smart Glove Seeks to Help Solve Hearing LossDid you know that 5% of the population around the world has a disabling level of hearing loss? That’s a whopping 466 million people. And more than 30 million of them are children. From the World Health Organization, we know that this unaddressed issue costs economies around the world more than $700 billion. The causes range in everything from complications at birth and chronic ear infections to aging and genetic causes. Welcome back to the Hearlink blog where we know that information sharing with our valued base of customers is paramount for the future of your health. That’s why we love to share updates to research, science and the products that can make a difference for your ears.

 

Enter the smart glove. You put it on, turn it on and sign as you regularly would. The smart glove will launch at the end of the year, thanks to Hadeel Ayoub, who is the brain behind BrightSign. Here are some crazy numbers provided – the production of hearing aids around the world meets less than 10% of the need. Even worse? That number drops to less than 5% in developing countries. Even, even worse? A mere 2% that communicate by sign language are able to access and use devices like this one. That’s why Ayoub, and many like her, are trying to get that number up and provide more resources to those that need them.

 

So how does the smart glove work? The signing activity is analysed by electronic sensors. It’s then verbalized by a microphone, which can be found in the glove. There are options to change the voice tone and the language that it emits. One benefit that many are noticing is that the text that you sign can also be displayed on a screen, so it’s easy for conversations to take place.

 

As interviewed on Diginomica, Ayoub says, “My vision is that the smart glove will become part of everyday life for people – something they can’t leave home without. It helps them to interact with the world rather than having to have someone interpret it for them. I want to give people a voice and more control over their communications on a daily basis. Having no access to funding meant I had to wait to gain access to the necessary hardware and software, but it also meant that I developed cheap prototypes to keep costs down, which made it more affordable. So, it all worked out in the end.”

 

While there are other options on the market, the goal of BrightSign and this product is to make it more accessible for those who need it. It’s customizable, especially for those challenged by autism, and it’s also far cheaper than many other available products. 

 

1500 schools throughout the United Kingdom will see the device first, with a free-of-charge cost thanks to government funding. But the sky’s the limit. Check back in to the Hearlink blog to see what next steps are for this device and many others like it.

Posted in Industry News By

Hearlink Admin