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Vu uses patent-pending smart tech for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to talk in real-time anywhere.

Alexandra Cartier

  • Project Description

    People like me, who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, have great difficulty following and understanding discussions in group settings. We get lost in translation. I spend time trying to know what is being said that I have little time to join the conversation. Mask wearing has complicated the problem. It’s exhausting! I’m a single lane road when everyone else is a super highway. My company, the Vü is here to solve this problem for 40 Million underserved consumers in the U.S. and millions worldwide. Lack of communication for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) is painfully apparent. They experience a 60% graduation rate and 70% unemployment or underemployment. Vü is here to change that. We will offer affordable patent-pending smart technology for the DHH to stay on track in school, enjoy gainful employment, and best of all, join in social groups without missing a beat in the conversation. We bridge the gap between those who can and cannot hear. Vü’s portable device slips in a pocket while our wearable glasses enable the user to see conversations and where each speaker is located. It’s like watching a real life movie with captions. Our real-time speech translations enable the user to actively follow and engage in group conversations without depending on others to help them understand what is said. Vü’s integrated situational awareness lets the user know who is speaking and where to look to follow the chat, providing the user an inclusive experience. Bingo! No more lost in translation.
  • Why is the timing right for your idea?

    The Pandemic has escalated the communication problem for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH). Interviews with DHH individuals in the U.S. and Europe tell us that wearing masks has made it impossible for them to communicate. Most DHH individuals depend on lip reading and facial expressions to know what is being said. Bringing the Vü devices to market will enable DHH individuals to communicate even with masks on. When mask mandates disappear, Vü devices will be relied on as individuals with cochlear implants, hearing aids, and deaf people suffer everyday communicating with their doctor, drive-thrus, traffic stops, work, family/friends and social events. AI technology is here and our smart devices are the answer for the pain of being left out.

  • What is your competitive advantage?

    Assistive hearing devices focus on audio solutions for the DHH such as cochlear implants and hearing aids with connectivity to smartphones and other tech. They are expensive and only partially subsidized by insurance or Government aid. The two hurdles for these types of solutions are 1) the cost and 2) the limitations of using finite analog-digital to interface with a defective human hearing system, i.e. hearing aids do not restore normal hearing. While our competitors provide a partial solution, Vü offers a complete solution for the DHH to join in the chat anytime, anywhere. Our real-time speech services keep user conversations private and secure. Our differentiator is real time chat with cues to where to look to see the next speaker.

  • What will you do with $10,000?

    The $10,000 award will be used as follows: $2,500 to increase Marketing lead generation to build our customer base; $2,500 to add additional hours to our Community Outreach facilitator to host one on one and group Peer Support online for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. The remaining $5,000 will be used to help create a demo display and marketing materials for vendor conferences to showcase our technology in 2022.