MED-EL USA announced that entries are now being accepted for the 6th annual Ideas4Ears competition, a worldwide search for creative inventions from children designed to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing. MED-EL is a global provider and inventor of hearing implant systems. One grand-prize winner will be selected to represent the USA with a trip to MED-EL’s international headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria.
The contest invites children aged 6-12 years old from the United States to dream up an invention to improve the quality of life for people with hearing loss. Entries for the MED-EL Ideas4Ears contest can be sent via a video, drawing, or sculpture. The most important factor is for children to think big and channel their ideas to improve the lives of those who face hearing loss as a barrier to communication and quality of life, according to the company’s announcement.
The inspiration behind Ideas4Ears and the head judge of the contest is MED-EL’s Chief Technology Officer, Geoffrey Ball. Ball was inspired and driven by his own hearing loss to invent a new implant to treat his hearing loss.
“Inventing is often a process of elimination. In the case of the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE, I had to build and test many devices that didn’t work well enough or didn’t work at all until I finally arrived at the design that was perfect. When I was inventing the components for the middle ear implant, people would tell me 100 reasons why my invention wouldn’t work, but I only needed one reason why it would,” said Ball.
As an accomplished inventor, with over 100 patent filings to his name and many medical device products developed, Ball has used his life experiences to act as a source of encouragement to young Ideas4Ears inventors, many of whom are users of hearing technology themselves.
The Ideas4Ears contest celebrates children’s creativity and aims to improve understanding of the challenges associated with hearing loss as well as the benefits of treatment. Parents interested should visit Ideas4Ears.org to submit their child’s entry. The closing date for entries is midnight on January 17, 2023.
All ideas are welcome; the only criteria are that the inventions need to have the potential to help improve the lives of people with hearing loss at any age. Follow the Ideas4Ears Facebook page to be kept up to date on the contest.