“Mommy, I can’t hear Grandpa!” That was the first difficulty my hearing loss presented. I struggled to hear my grandfather -- he was dying of complications of Parkinson’s Disease -- through the cell phone pressed against my ear in the noisy atmosphere of my mother’s bathroom.
Books and writing helped me escape to a world where my hearing loss didn’t matter. On the day before winter break, a teacher of mine showed The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a movie based on a book I’d read, and my excitement to see the novel come to life on the silver screen was thoroughly tamed when I could barely hear the movie; heavy accents, battle scenes, and soft dialogue had transformed the book I loved into a senseless blur of noise.
Enough was enough. Through my writing, I learned to be a thinker, considering others, and realized that I wasn’t the only one who struggled with understanding a movie; a movie’s muffled sound also affects the perception of children with auditory processing disorders and children with autism. The idea came to me while watching a 3D movie with my family; when the screen flashed blue and read PUT YOUR 3D GLASSES ON, I began to think about the concept of closed captioning, or the system in which the dialogue of a movie is displayed at the bottom of the screen. I wondered if the closed captioning of a movie could be projected onto the screen through a set of glasses -- similar in design to 3D glasses. There would be a signal at the beginning of the movie, much like PUT YOUR 3D GLASSES ON, to let a viewer know when to turn on the glasses, and the glasses themselves would have a button on the side to turn on and turn off closed captioning at the viewer’s convenience.
As my idea became concrete, I started to envision the world books and writing brought me to, the one I’d come to love, colliding with the world of social acceptance, the world I’d always wanted. I know I can bring those world to life, and I know that in those world, no one, despite any disabilities, will be held back or isolated again.
I am dedicated to supplementing the ideal movie experience with the added benefits of closed captioning so no one -- whether they have a hearing loss, a processing disorder, or any kind of disadvantage -- ever has to feel left out of a movie experience again.
GrabCAD is in full support of Alex's efforts and is doing this Challenge pro bono. This is a unique Challenge as there is no paid sponsor and there are no monetary prizes. We hope the GrabCAD Community offers the same support with quality designs, thoughtful comments and guidance. Thank you to all our judges for volunteering their time! We have also created a panel of Community Advisors - contact email@example.com if you're interested.
The process for the Challenge...
Preparation (April 2-7): Read the comments. Clarify the requirements & specs with the Challenge judges.
Round One (April 8-23): Create your work and cover all requirements! Judges select a round of finalists.
Round Two (April 23-30): Based on direct feedback, finalists work through quick iterations.
Results (May 15): Finalists are now listed in the order they placed. A winner is announced.
Post-Challenge development (May 16-Prototype): We will document the process of creating a prototype-ready version of the glasses on our blog for the Community to see!
What do you need? -- Glasses that project text on lenses during a movie or presentation. The text should correlate with what is being said on the screen. The glasses containing a button on the side to start and stop the projections.
Why do you need it? -- I'm fourteen years old and deaf in my left ear. My need for these glasses is shared by other members of the hard-of-hearing community and by non hearing-impaired citizens with functioning disabilities.
What matters? -- Quality of concept. Ease and cost to manufacture, so many places could take advantage of the product.
Detail level -- Undetailed outline of feasible product.
File types required -- STEP and rendering.
Other formats are a plus -- Native CAD, 2D, STL.
Multiple entries accepted -- Yes.
Entry type -- Public entries only.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
Please avoid, if possible, having the dual-mounted projectors on the glasses, which will make them significantly less expensive.
Be aware of existing solutions (share more in the comments if you find them) and create something that differentiates itself from other high-end tech or enterprise-focused solutions. Make something for the consumer that is easy to use and build.
Tag your model with “CCglasses”. Only entries with valid tag will participate!
The Challenge is open to everyone. You can submit several entries. Team entries are welcome. In case of team win, prize will be transferred to team leader who is solely responsible for splitting it among team members.
All entries must be submitted publicly and become the intellectual property (IP) of the Challenge sponsor. This is a pro bono Challenge.
Only entries uploaded to GrabCAD through the "submit entry" button on this Challenge page will be considered an entry.
By entering this competition, you 1. Warrant that the work is your original work. 2. To the best of your knowledge, it is not, and has not been in production or otherwise previously published or exhibited. 3. Neither the work nor its use infringes the intellectual property rights (whether a patent, utility model, functional design right, aesthetic design right, trade mark, copyright or any other intellectual property right) of any other person.
Applicants are not entitled to any compensation or reimbursement for any costs. The applicant’s participation shall not constitute employment, assignment or offer of employment or assignment.
Winning designs will be chosen based on the rules and requirements. This Challenge starts on April 2, 2013 and ends on April 30, 2013 (11:59pm UTC). Winners will be announced by May 15, 2013.
No cash prizes will be awarded. This is a pro-bono, volunteer effort by all parties. Void where prohibited.
GrabCAD badge, engineer spotlight on our blog, and swag! We are doing this Challenge to help those with disabilities, not for money.
Swag, badge, and a mention on our blog!
GrabCAD, CADjunkie, Upverter, and our Community Advisors will be helping Alex pick the winners of this Challenge. Contact email@example.com if you would like to be a Community Advisor for a future pro-bono Challenge. Please note: Community Advisors are not be elligible for any Challenges where they are on the jury.
The summer before kindergarten, I was diagnosed with a deaf ear at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles. They discovered the absence of two of the three bones in my left ear necessary for hearing, and I was not given a hearing aid because the bones were not there to hear with -- a hearing aid can only work to join the broken connection between the brain and the ear, and I didn’t have the bones to work with in the first place.
In school, my hearing loss was not taken seriously. My classmates, preoccupied with pop culture and homework, would frequently forget about it, no matter how many times I reminded them. Had my diagnosis not been apart of my student record, my teachers never would have believed I was deaf in one ear: I had no hearing aid and my pronunciation was crisp and clear. My teachers, not able to understand that an anatomical hearing loss results from the loss of bones, rather than a broken connection between the brain and the ear, believed me to be exaggerating the degree of my disability, and were indifferent to my needs, such as sitting in the front of a room. As a result, I found myself sitting in a middle or back row quite frequently, and if I couldn’t hear something in class because of my position, my classmates would deem me “weird.”
My isolation increased as I grew older -- my hearing loss wasn’t as prevalent when I was little because I wasn’t aware of all the limitations it came with -- and I often found myself eating lunch alone. Through my isolation, I developed a love for books and writing. Last year, I won Seventeen Magazine’s 2011 Fiction Contest, and separately, some of my writing will be featured in an upcoming ebook anthology through the New York Times Learning Network, Edutopia, and the National Writing Project.
Much like the children in Narnia, I’d discovered a world that I loved, that I’d visited so many times on all those days of lonely lunches, that was now gone. Now I was back to reality, where no matter what, I’d always be alone.
I loved that world too much to let it slip away so easily, and, despite having acquired a couple of friendships over the years, I still yearned for a world where I could participate in a conversation.