It all started on my second day working for ChatableApps. I arrived one foggy morning in Oxfordshire. Aston Hearing had invited the ChatableApps team to their HearToday event at The Oxfordshire golf club. Giles, the CEO of ChatableApps, picked me up from the train station and we drove along winding country roads until we got to the golf club where HearToday was being held. After a short fumble in the car park, when Giles had opened his car door and several bits of presentation equipment came rolling out, we were ushered inside.
We were invited into a room where Matthew Ball – an Aston Hearing audiologist – sat waiting for us. He was keen to try out the app, to discuss how it worked and what its benefits were. He advised us on the particular attendees we should approach and who would be most willing to try out Chatable. Later in the morning, we were provided a stall in the event room to set up shop and got talking to the rest of the Aston team, discussing our hopes for the day. I remember feeling welcomed right from the start by them, and they were not short of giving us advice and suggestions on how we should explain our technology to some of the participants.
Pretty much all the sound we hear is listened to and processed by the brain, so that we are able to understand what that sound is. A brain that has difficulty processing voice can make it hard for someone to understand and follow a conversation in a noisy place. Chatable is the world’s first AI Hearing Aid App that makes hearing conversation in noise easy and effortless. Through a pioneering approach to auditory neuroscience we have created proprietary artificial intelligence VOXimity, which enhances the brain’s ability to hear speech by providing clear and loud voice without background noise.
Having this revolutionary technology in the palm of our hands, we wondered who would benefit the most from it; could it actually change lives? Could we really make conversation accessible to everybody, everywhere?
The HearToday event was a resounding success. We learned much from the attendees that tested Chatable and the particular aspects that needed improvement. And from a few of the attendees we discovered an interesting situation: that some people are fine hearing in quiet environments but struggle to listen to, or process, speech in noise. This was the first of many lightbulbs that flicked on in our heads when working with Aston. We had realised Chatable’s potential to improve the quality of life for a huge amount of people, not just for people with hearing loss.
From then on, the relationship between ChatableApps and Aston Hearing has blossomed. They have proved to be an invaluable mentor and partner at every stage of our development as a company. Whenever asked, they’ve provided us with direction and would reign us in when we were going off track. At following HearToday events, we experienced truly momentous moments, such as when Mr Winchester, after hearing Giles’s and his daughter’s voice clearly in the noisy room, exclaimed in shock and delight, “Goodness, your voice is so clear and loud – it’s tremendous!” I managed to catch him trying Chatable on video, which can be watched here.
What we learned from meeting Aston clientele is that hearing loss can be a great hindrance to many areas of someone’s life. Chatable gives people power over their sound environment, using our sliders to remove background noise and boosting the volume of voice. No longer do they need to avoid social occasions which are held in loud places. Neither do they need to fear exhaustion due to listening effort. We’ve had users report that they can now return to their favourite restaurants equipped with Chatable, as it makes having conversation there possible.
We at ChatableApps hope there’s much more to come in our collaboration with Aston Hearing. And our partnership continues to grow week to week. Working alongside Aston Hearing, whose advocacy of hearing health matches closely with our ambition, we have a good chance to move forward onto yet another next stage of our development as an innovative tech company, and to be ready for whatever comes next.
For more information on Chatable, visit the ChatableApps website here