Senso

Connecting deaf with hearing communities by detecting sounds that are essential in daily life.

The problem we aim to solve:

Not being able to hear can be dangerous and isolating, which has a negative impact on deaf communities.

The solution our project offers:

Bringing sound to life for deaf people through vibration and LED lights.

The impact our project had so far:

Senso has the potential to be a game changer in terms of saving lives for deaf and hard of hearing people.

The product we are developing is a wearable wrist device that detects sounds and communicates them to the user through vibration and LED lighting. The device also has the capability of alerting the user when the set perimeter in their surroundings have been breached, this then opens up the device to be used to monitor a child’s movement or to track a pet or a car.

There are 360 million deaf people worldwide

For example, when an evacuation alarm goes off because the building is on fire, everybody has to evacuate the building. The deaf person will not hear the emergency alarm and will not be able to exit the building in time. In fact, in the North West province of South Africa, three deaf pupils sadly died whilst sleeping because they didn’t hear the evacuation alarm.

The product can also be used as a baby, pet and car monitor

Passion
It all started with my aunt, who is hard of hearing. She can lip read within the family but I became worried about her safety when she was in the city, because she wouldn’t hear alarms or other life-saving sounds like a car hooter. I decided to come up with a solution for her – and perhaps for the 360 million deaf people worldwide.

Impact
The potential for this product is huge in terms of saving lives. In August three deaf students died in the North West Province when they were sleeping, because they didn’t hear the alarm in the hostel they lived in. The product can also be used as a baby, pet and car monitor.

Acknowledgements
We have received a GAP ICT award and SAB Foundation Social Innovation award for our products.

We have been able to work with The Innovation Hub, mLab Southern Africa, SABS Design Institute, Africa’s leading science park for technical assistance.

We also have been able to work with the SABS Design Institute (part of the South African Bureau of Standards), South African Breweries as well as mLab Southern Africa for the development and technical direction of our product development. Through the institute’s technical and creative brilliance, our idea moved from being an idea to a concept. It then became a prototype and its IP was filed.

South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology invited us to participate in the Eureka Innovation Week in Sweden, between 25 - 29 April 2016.

Pioneers Festival organisers invited Senso to participate on the Pioneers Festival which took place in Austria in May 2016.

Next steps
We’ve just raised another round of funding with Multichoice and The Innovation Hub. The funding will enable us to complete a market ready product, run pilot and commercialize the product. Please pop to our page soon again for future announcements.

This is the 3rd generation prototype of Senso.
@ Senso owns the copyright and IP rights to the picture and product

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