“We’re hoping people will be able to walk in the store and have their ears scanned like people get their ears pierced today,” he says. “That’ll lower the cost because they don’t have to go to a specialty doctor.”
Unlike other academics often left to their own devices, Professor Hart was able to bring his hearing aid concept closer to reality with $50,000 in backing last year from the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, an M.I.T. entity originally funded by two private investors, Jaishree Deshpande and her husband, Gururaj.
“I wouldn’t have known the first thing about doing all of this,” says Professor Hart. “The people from the Deshpande Center led me through.”