A Darlington-based digital company, founded with the support of DigitalCity, has created a revolutionary new app, to improve virtual communication for those with hearing difficulties.
Combining video with real time automated transcription, HearClear, the intercontinental closed-caption app is proving particularly helpful through the Covid-19 lockdown and has seen over 100 downloads in just two weeks, as far away as the US and Australia.
Described as FaceTime with live subtitles, the app allows users to access sound, subtitles, speech reading and sign to support them in making telephone calls. The innovative idea came from Desifa – a talented tech company with an ambition to harness smart technology to improve telephone conversations. Founded by Martin Philips and Steve Tinkler in 2018, the duo were prompted by Martin’s wife’s hearing difficulties to provide a solution for people who struggle to hear on the phone.
With the support of the Teesside University-led initiative, DigitalCity and its Accelerator Programme, their business idea was validated. This was followed by coaching, connections and access to funding, all of which helped to fast-track the development of the HearClear App.
‘We have a simple ambition to help half a billion people world-wide, including the 11 million people in the UK with hearing loss who have been left behind by the technology that has revolutionised the way the rest of us live our lives. We want to enable everyone to stay in touch with family, friends and services.’ Martin said. ‘It’s a versatile app that’s needed now more than ever, first-and-foremost for loved ones to stay in touch throughout the social distancing measures. It can also help businesses and employers to adjust so that they can better connect with all their customers and staff.’
HearClear is available to download on iOS, with plans underway to make the app accessible to Android users in the coming months. Download today, with a free trial until the end of June 2020 at HearClear App .
Do you have an innovative idea for a new tech product? DigitalCity is looking for more early-stage tech companies to take part in its next Accelerator Programme this May. Apply before Friday 1st May at the link below.
The DigitalCity project has received up to £1,217,733 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit Visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.