The first place, full $5,000 2022 RISE award, goes to heARsight LLC. heARsight's mission is to empower people who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing (HOH) with innovative tools that contribute to better speech comprehension and an overall higher quality of life. Their innovation is a pair of augmented reality smart-glasses that provide subtitles to a user during their in-person conversations. The need for assistive tech like this is massive – the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the number of people globally who suffer from hearing difficulties to be 430 million. This number is expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2050 due to the aging global population and unsafe listening practices. This mission is a personal one for the heARsight team – the company was founded by Danny Fritz and Riley Ellingsen during their time as Master's students at Notre Dame, where Danny conceived of the idea from his lived experience watching his girlfriend, Meg, struggle with hearing difficulties in everyday settings.
Our thought bubble. When we look for ideal RISE recipients, we look closely at potential for societal good matched with a team that can execute. heARsight is just this type of impactful innovation, backed by the kind of DNA it takes to see through to market success. Assistive technology is a corner of the market that unfortunately still has too much white space and we’re happy to help them fill it, in any way we can!
We're proud to have been recognized as the winners of the 2022 RISE Award and appreciate Aurora's interest in making the world more accessible for people who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing. We're grateful for Aurora's assistance in defining and protecting heARsight's IP strategy and are incredibly thankful for how accommodating they've been in adapting the scope of the award to meet our most pressing needs.
– Riley Ellingsen
heARsight is reimagining assistive hearing technology with wearable subtitles. heARsight glasses are a pair of augmented reality smart-glasses that provide subtitles to a user during their in-person conversations. Embedded microphones detect voices and informative sounds in every direction around the user. Speech-to-text and augmented reality technology enable accurate and timely subtitles.