The idea was born
“In class XI, a friend who was hard to hear suddenly stopped coming to school. She had difficulty following the teacher’s instructions or communicating with her classmates. Good quality hearing aids were expensive, and cochlear implant surgery was expensive. Speech-to-text apps on mobile phones had poor caption quality, which distracted them from running classes or conversations, ”he said.
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Studies have shown that hearing aids, cochlear implants and smart glasses can be impossible or unattainable for many people in developing countries like India, Madhav added. “Thus, I decided to create affordable, real-time smart captioning glasses for people with hearing loss,” he says.
Madhav has created TranscriptBlass, an affordable and comfortable wearable device for those who are deaf and use captions to improve their comprehension of spoken communication. “It enables the wearer to see the speaker and get hints of non-verbal communication, as well as increase environmental and situational awareness while reading captions, thereby increasing the understanding of what is being said,” Madhav said.
The user first launches a mobile app and chooses the caption source, which will convert the speech into text, Madhav added. “Caption sources can be automatically speech-to-text models from companies like Google or Microsoft, or from live human captions or even subtitle files. The received captions are transmitted via Bluetooth to a display on the hardware device. The hardware device is attached to the temple of the spectacle frame that is worn by the user. The captions from the display are projected into the real world from the perspective of the wearer using augmented reality concepts and optics so that the wearer can see what is being said and read the captions at the same time, “he added.
Founder of the young innovator TinkerTech Labs, a consumer support technology startup that was incubated at IIT Delhi. “Ideally, I would like to continue to improve and launch the product as soon as I finish my next study,” he said.
Madhav is one of the 12 recipients of the 12th NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Award, launched in 2010 by the National Center for Employment of the Disabled People (NCPEDP) with the support of Mphasis. These awards are among the most sought-after awards recognizing excellence in disability-friendly innovation and practice.
The first half of life
Born and raised in New Delhi, Madhav spent a few years of his childhood in Palo Alto, California. “I finished my schooling in the science stream in 2019 from Culture School, New Delhi,” he said. Madhav then postponed his higher education for two years to work full time in his invention.
In the current academic session, Madhav has joined Yale University in Connecticut to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
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