Hearing loss can be isolating. As social creatures, a conversation is everything. If we can no longer participate in those conversations, we’re at risk of feeling disconnected from the world around us.
Today, 1.5 billion people suffer from hearing loss across the globe. That number is set to reach 2.5 billion by 2050, affecting 1 in 4 people due to unsafe listening practices.
(Image Source: WHO)
Hearing loss pioneer, Xander is aiming to change the game when it comes to assisting those with a hearing disability. The augmented tech developer recently revealed their newest product, XanderGlasses, an AR-driven hearing aid in the form of eyeglasses.
Using augmented reality to enhance a user’s surroundings, XanderGlasses aim to caption conversations, projecting a line of real-time text onto the tech-infused specs lens. After receiving recognition at CES 2023 and winning the Eureka Park Accessibility Contest, these eyeglasses could transform the lives of billion across the globe.
Read on as we jump into the impacts of hearing loss and uncover what XanderGlasses have in store for those who invest.
The impacts of hearing loss on daily life
Hearing loss can affect daily life in many ways. From isolation & mental health problems to the expense of traditional hearing aids, struggling to engage audibly can significantly impact the quality of life.
Here are some of the main impacts associated with hearing loss:
Depression & Isolation
Struggling to enjoy conversations with friends and family can leave a person feeling isolated in such a vocal world. With many unable to hear phone calls, alarms, or even comforting words from the people they love, it’s no wonder that conditions such as depression and anxiety spike in the hearing-loss community.
(Image Source: Starkey)
In fact, as older adults with hearing loss suffer in silence, they become 47% more likely to develop depression as a result of a lack of accessibility.
“Our ability to hear is precious. Untreated hearing loss can have a devastating impact on people’s ability to communicate, to study and to earn a living,” says the Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. It can also impact people’s mental health and their ability to sustain relationships.”
The cost of hearing aids
Did you know that 83% of those who struggle with hearing loss actively invest in a hearing aid? From expense to self-consciousness amongst younger sufferers, only 17% of people with disability have their hearing technologically enhanced.
With the cost of hearing ages currently ranging from $2-7,000, a large number of low-income households can’t afford to enjoy the luxury of hearing.
Worst still, according to HearingReview, many younger hearing aid wearers still report that there is a stigma surrounding hearing aids. Using the words ‘weak, old, feeble’ to describe how they feel when wearing the audio enhancer, users that wrote into the review believe that hearing aids should be more discreet and fashionable for all ages.
Lack of awareness
There is also a shocking lack of awareness surrounding hearing loss across the globe.
In a recent study by Otology and Neurotology that surveyed 1250 adults, only 9% of respondents could correctly identify a normal range of hearing.
While many assume that hearing loss only affects an older generation of 65+, it’s important to know that 1 billion young adults are also affected by hearing loss too.
How are XanderGlasses changing the game?
Xander glasses aim to combat hearing loss, by offering a discreet, low-cost solution to hearing loss.
After creating glasses that augment sound and translate conversations into lens-based captions, the tech developer has received praise from CES 2023, Age Tech and Eureka Park.
Following in the footsteps of slim-frame eyeglasses brands such as Silhouette and Zeiss, who have been under review for their rimless designs, XanderGlasses offer users a discreet hearing aid, that can blend in with your prescription eyewear.
(Image Source: Xander)
“48 million people in the U.S. struggle with hearing loss, and that will increase as the population ages. If you can’t hear what others are saying, XanderGlasses can help you see what others are saying,” says the CEO of Xander, Alex Westner. “Our team has spent countless hours with people of all stages of hearing loss, and XanderGlasses is the result of our customer-driven approach.”
Designed as a simple, on-and-off piece of technology, XanderGlasses can be used anywhere at any time. Defeating style stigmas and bringing those with hearing loss back into the conversation, these specs are set to be a hit.
XanderGlasses are set to be publicly released in Spring 2023. As AR tech drives the future of audio enhancement, it won’t be long before no one suffers in silence again.