With perhaps 600 million people around the world suffering some level of hearing loss, the Solar Ear – the first solar-powered hearing aid rechargeable charger – will make a real difference.
The size of a small transistor radio (remember those?), it comes with two rechargeable Ni-Mh AA batteries, requiring 6-8 hours of sunlight to fully charge. Once charged, simply place the hearing aid batteries inside to recharge. Charge the unit near a window by day and the hearing aid batteries by night. The unit’s batteries are thought to have a lifespan of 2-3 years or 300 charges – a vast improvement to traditional hearing aid batteries that need weekly replacement.
Created by Howard Weinstein, who was nominated as a 2009 Tech Award Laureate, the charger can also be charged with light from a household light or by plugging it in like a cell phone. With a suggested price of $49.95, this affordable product promises to give sound and a better life to millions of people around the world.
Solar Ear Brazil, manufactures, assembles and distributes, the first digital rechargeable hearing aid, a new solar battery charger and rechargeable hearing aid batteries which costs the same as disposable zinc air batteries, but lasts 2 to 3 years. All products are assembled by young employees who are deaf.