It may not have been a “Eureka!” moment, but it certainly came close. As part of a high-school project, HWS student Megan Stevens '10 and friend Katie Weber invented a device to aid the hearing-impaired. That stroke of inspiration is now a finalist for the Dimension Printing Group's “Extreme Redesign Contest.”
“I myself am hearing-impaired and struggle to find a decent headphone which is both comfortable and efficient,” said Stevens.
To fix this, she teamed up with Weber, who is currently attending the University of Buffalo, to create the ‘Saddle III.’ “The name is derived from the idea of a saddle sitting on top of a horse, but in this case a hearing aid, she explained. “III” simply means our third attempt at perfecting the idea.
The invention allows an earbud, such as one from an Apple Ipod, to be comfortably worn by someone who is also wearing hearing aids. “We're hoping that the invention will help the hearing impaired throughout the nation listen to music easier, said Stevens.
Their efforts are now gaining national attention. Their design is among three finalists for the Dimension Printing Group’s “Extreme Redesign Contest, chosen from a pool of more than 1,200 design entries from around the world. The first place winners will each receive $2,500 scholarships, with second and third place finalists receiving $1,000 scholarships each.
Stevens is studying engineering and architecture at the Colleges.
The design competition has received publicity on some business news sites.