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Able Glasses: Delivering Auditory Experience to Deaf & Blind

Ksham Innovation is a trailblazing DeepTech startup dedicated to making technology accessible to all, regardless of hearing, speech, or visual impairments. The startup aims to empower individuals with disabilities by providing them with innovative solutions that facilitate communication, learning, and daily tasks, ultimately fostering greater independence. Beyond addressing immediate accessibility needs, Ksham Innovation envisions a future where traditional audio experiences are revolutionized through their smart, safe alternatives to conventional earbuds and headphones.

By extending the age at which people may face hearing difficulties, the company aims to safeguard auditory health while ensuring uninterrupted access to music, information, and audio content. Their commitment to inclusivity and innovation extends beyond improving the lives of those with hearing loss; they strive to provide a solution for anyone seeking safer audio consumption practices.

At Ksham Innovation, they are driven by the belief that technology should be a bridge, connecting individuals of all abilities and enhancing their quality of life. Through their relentless pursuit of groundbreaking solutions, they aim to make a tangible difference in the lives of people worldwide, pushing the boundaries of technology to create a more inclusive and accessible future.

Pratik Raghuwanshi, Founder & CEO of Ksham Innovation, recently spoke exclusively to The Interview World at Startup Mahakumbh 2024. He discussed their innovative “Able Glasses,” highlighting the technology behind them and detailing upcoming enhancements. Additionally, he shared the company’s long-term vision. Here are the key insights from his interview.

Q: What are the key features and functionalities of your smart assistive device, Able Glasses?

A: Able Glasses represent a pioneering solution for the deaf, mute, and blind worldwide. Our current emphasis revolves around devising a non-surgical remedy tailored specifically for individuals experiencing conductive hearing loss within the deaf community. Through the utilization of cutting-edge bone conduction technology, our glasses empower users to perceive sound with remarkable clarity and precision. Moreover, our technological breakthrough has been officially recognized and safeguarded with patent protection, ensuring its uniqueness and exclusivity.

Q: What is the underlying technology used to facilitate communication for individuals who are deaf, and how does it effectively serve their needs?

A: In our everyday experience, the perception of sound involves a complex journey: sound waves travel to our ears, where they are converted into vibrations by the eardrum, and then relayed to the cochlea for interpretation. However, Able Glasses revolutionize this process. These innovative devices utilize bone conduction transducers to bypass the traditional route, transmitting sound vibrations directly to the cochlea.

Featuring an onboard audio processing unit, battery, and microphone, Able Glasses are equipped to capture ambient sound and convert it into vibrations. This transformative technology enables the deaf to experience amplified sound, bridging the gap between silence and auditory sensation in a remarkable way. With Able Glasses, individuals previously unable to hear can now immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of sounds that surround them.

Q: What is the current status of commercialization for this product?

A: No, we’re currently focused on the MVP development phase. After completing the prototype and securing the patent, our attention is now on advancing the minimum viable product (MVP) development and initiating clinical trials. Looking ahead, our goal is to launch the product in the market next year. We’re diligently working towards this milestone, ensuring that our innovation reaches its full potential and meets the needs of our target audience.

Q: What is your comprehensive, future-oriented vision for the evolution and impact of this product over the long term?

A: Our vision is clear: we aim to enhance the auditory experience for a greater number of individuals facing hearing loss. In India alone, the staggering statistic reveals that over 63 million people contend with hearing impairments. Sadly, only a fraction, less than 10%, currently utilize hearing aids to address their condition. Recognizing the significance of affordability in the Indian market, we have set out to make these aids not only accessible but also economically feasible and aesthetically pleasing.

Our mission is ambitious yet crucial: to democratize this vital technology, ensuring that everyone grappling with hearing loss can afford and access it, thereby unlocking its transformative capabilities. By breaking down financial barriers and providing access to cutting-edge auditory solutions, we endeavor to empower individuals with hearing impairments to fully engage in their lives with confidence and independence. This, indeed, constitutes our overarching goal and driving force.

Q: What are the capabilities and limitations of smart glasses for enhancing visual perception among individuals who are blind?

A: Blind individuals face the challenge of being unable to see, but possess the remarkable ability to visualize their surroundings through other senses. Recognizing this, phase 3 of our product development targets the creation of glasses tailored to their needs. These innovative glasses will be equipped with a camera, enabling real-time capture of the visual field, while also providing detailed auditory descriptions of the environment.

Essentially, they offer a live commentary of the surrounding scenes, empowering the visually impaired to navigate with greater confidence and independence. Beyond aiding navigation, these glasses will also serve as a platform for reading books, further enhancing accessibility. To accomplish these feats, advanced technologies such as image processing and AI/ML models will be seamlessly integrated into on-device computing, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in assisting the visually impaired.

Able Glasses - The Innovative Assistive Technology for Deaf, Mute, and Blind
Able Glasses – The Innovative Assistive Technology for Deaf, Mute, and Blind
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