16-year-old invents low-cost hearing aid

Device can be used with even the cheapest set of headphones

A 16-year-old Indian-American has created a low-cost hearing aid costing $60 (about Rs. 4,000).

Mukund Venkatakrishnan of Kentucky’s Louisville city worked on the device for two years and presented it at the Jefferson County Public Schools Idea Fest and recently won first place the Kentucky State Science and Engineering Fair.

The device, which can be used with even the cheapest set of headphones, is built to first test hearing by playing several different sounds at seven different frequencies through headphones. It then programs itself to be a hearing aid, amplifying volume based on the test results.

“It eliminates the need for a doctor altogether. It is really, in essence, just amplifiers that increase the volume based on how much hearing loss you have,” Mr. Venkatakrishnan said.

He said the processor responsible for amplifying volume by increasing the volume of an incoming signal, was the most expensive part — about $45. Other parts cost about $15. The teenager was inspired to invent the aid during his visit to his grandparents in India two years ago. — PTI

16-year-old invents low-cost hearing aid

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