In the U.S., 20% of people suffer from some form of hearing loss, but there aren’t many options available to them in the case of hearing aids. The two main options they have are spending thousands of dollars on a prescription hearing aid or buying a cheap device for a few hundred dollars. What’s astonishing is that 70%-80% of adults with hearing loss don’t have devices, because of lack of insurance. iHear wants to provide these people with an affordable hearing device that they can easily customize by themselves with a web based hearting test. The ultimate goal for this company is to make hearing aids available to all 350 million people in the world who suffer from hearing loss.
The hearing device costs about $199 US and comes with a testing kit and access to online diagnostic software of iHear. The company wants people to think of it as a smartphone, because you can download new software and customize it on your own. Setting up iHear is quite simple; users first have to connect their hearing aid to a computer via a USB device. After that, they use the online diagnostic tools of iHear to calibrate it. It’s very straight forward and easy for anyone to operate, which makes it very user friendly.
iHear has set up a campaign to reach $65 000, as of now $24 000 have been raised with 21 days to go. In order to get people who aren’t hearing impaired to support, iHear offers noise-cancelling and high fidelity earphones to anyone who donates over $28. Adnan Shennib, the entrepreneur of this start-up, has had success in the world of hearing aids. He and his team have developed advanced technology for the hearing impaired but what he figured out was that the advanced technology they developed turned out to be a luxury item for most users. They were inaccessible to many hearing impaired people. This is why iHear was created. It’s more of a mission than a company; a mission to reach out to those people who cannot afford hearing solutions.