The Premise. Hearing loss is an issue that affects 10% of the world population, and it remains a significant barrier for human communication. Often times, hearing loss comes later in life, and it can thus be a difficult obstacle to overcome having not learned sign language.
The Product. The iseewhatyousay is a small and simple device that makes it easier for people with hearing loss to communicate in a one on one conversation. Currently available only for Android users, the iseewhatyousay is a speech-to-text reader that displays the text of a conversation to person with hearing loss. The person speaking holds down a button within the iseewhatyousay app on their phone, and it shows up on the screen of the device almost immediately. The goal is to make conversation smooth and effortless.
The Pitch. On the Kickstarter page, little is mentioned about what the device actually does or how it works. There’s a video that shows the creator and his father having a conversation with a prototype of the iseewhatyousay, but that conversation seems slow and labored.
The Perks. The iseewhatyousay is relatively cheap at only $50, with an expected delivery of July 2014. There are options for those who want to help produce these devices with contributions in the thousands.
The Potential. The iseewhatyousay has the best intentions in mind and the product’s eventual small form factor could be an advantage, but this product faces significant hurdles. The creators have not yet created a refined product ready for mass production and the product’s featured could be handled and far surpassed by the cheapest of used smartphones, There are countless of other speech-to-text devices available, and there are certainly alternative and more effective solutions for people with hearing loss.