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      Catalysing innovation

      We want to fire up people across all sectors. So, we're setting ‘Technology Challenges’. These will catalyse innovation in defined areas of need – and inspire people to collaborate and come up with solutions to real-life problems affecting people confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss.

      By talking to people with hearing loss and tinnitus we've come up with their top five areas of priority for technological innovation:

      Alerting devices

      The devices you use to wake you up, or warn you that something's up, are very limited. You've told us that you're looking for innovative alerting devices that work with and without hearing aids – and that fit with a 21st-century lifestyle.

      Text-based communication

      The accuracy, speed and availability of automated speech to text (STT) in telecommunication and broadcasting services are not always good enough.

      To achieve an acceptable level of STT translation you need the services of an STT reporter. This is expensive for both user and provider – and they're not always available or suitable like when having a third person translating a private conversation.

      So we're encouraging people to innovate, to improve the speed and accuracy of automated STT and its application. This would help people who are deaf or have hearing loss get better access to TV broadcasts, telecommunication services, transport, health care...

      Sign-based communication

      Communication between someone using speech and someone using sign language requires an interpreter, either in person or through a video relay service. That's why we need technology that can convert speech automatically into sign language, and vice versa. If sign language users have the signed information they need, they'll be able to access many more services – and communicate better at work, socially, and when travelling.

      Clear audio

      If you have hearing loss you'll know it's a constant struggle trying to hear speech over background noise, whether you're chatting in a noisy restaurant, puzzling over film dialogue, or attempting to have a phone call where there's lots of traffic.

      We encourage innovation in technology that will make speech more audible in these 'challenging listening' environments.

      Listening to music can also be difficult. At the moment, technology focuses on improving speech perception – and failing to improve your experience of listening to music. We need better technology that can personalise music perception: we believe everyone with a hearing loss should have the chance to enjoy listening to music.

      Tinnitus management

      The technology currently available to help you manage your tinnitus is limited. Most of the devices generate sound to mask, or distract attention from, your tinnitus. We're encouraging innovation into much-needed, new technologies to help you personalise the management of your tinnitus.

      Contact us through our Request for Support form or email us on technology@hearingloss.org.uk to tell us about the innovative technology you're working on.

      Whether you're confronting hearing loss, deafness or tinnitus, the right products and technology can be vital to helping you stay independent and continuing to enjoy doing the things you want to do