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Meet the Delhi boy who has invented glasses to help the hearing impaired

Think Change India
22nd Jun 2018
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Seventeen-year-old Madhav Lavakare grew up with an insatiable desire to solve problems. When Google Glass hit the market in 2013, Madhav fell in love with it, "not aesthetically, but in terms of the concept," according to NewsBytes.

Inspired by Google Glass, Madhav is now developing “hearing glasses” called ‘Transcribe.’ The aim is to allow people who are hearing impaired to read the words that they cannot hear.

A student of Sanskriti School in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Madhav grew up in Palo Alto, California. When he was eight, his parents moved back to Delhi. Speaking about his first invention Madhav says, “I was only six when I invented a solar-powered oven in Palo Alto.”

Madhav Lavakare

When he was 13, Madhav developed a sensor-driven and voice-controlled home automation system. Speaking to The Better India, Madhav says,

“Every time I build or creating something new, I’m always trying to solve a problem. Solving problems in an unorthodox and creative manner while doing what I love - building and tinkering - gives me unparalleled joy.”

To develop the hearing glasses, Madhav has used cheap electronic parts, and used basic concepts of Physics that he read in Class X.

When a person wears the hearing glasses, he/she can talk to the person with whom they want to communicate, over a smartphone. There is an in-built app through which the speech gets transcribed. It is then sent to a chip attached to the glasses. So, when a person wears the glasses, they can read the transcribed text, which is displayed on the transparent screen of the glasses.

Transcribe prototype (Source: Madhav Lavakare)

Madhav feels that Google Glass was out of reach for the common man due to its pricing. While Google Glass costs $1,500 (more than a lakh), Transcribe costs us just Rs 3,500. He hopes the low-cost assistance device will really help people from a low-income background.

The Transcribe comes as a boon for India, which has more than 50 million people with hearing problems.

"The next step is to scale up my operations. I aim to achieve this by working with more organisations that assist the deaf to test the device further, and receive valuable feedback. I will then incorporate this feedback into many new prototype iterations," he says.

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