Lisnen is an alerting device that empowers
Founded in 2017 by Eyra Abraham, Social Ventures Zone startup Lisnen, external link is working to make life easier and safer for the deaf and hard of hearing. The mobile application, which can be downloaded onto any smartphone, allows users to be notified with vibration and light when the phone’s microphone picks up specific sounds.
The inspiration for Lisnen, external link came from Abraham’s own personal experience when there was a fire nearby her home and she was awoken not by an alarm, but by the smell of smoke. “I wish I had had an alerting device ... especially in the nighttime when I don’t wear my hearing aid,” she says. Despite advances in technology tools for the deaf and hard of hearing remain expensive and often rely on old technology, “I have not seen any change in the technology for over 40 some odd years,” adds Abraham. Additionally most brands in the industry continue to target older demographics, “I think it’s important that we, as people who are deaf and hard of hearing, have a product that we value and a brand that we can respect.” Abraham hopes Lisnen, external link can be that brand. Recently she has gotten some exciting attention in the press, “I really appreciate being able to speak about disability and artificial intelligence, because we are at a stage where artificial intelligence has so much possibility, especially for people with disabilities."
I think it’s important that we, as people who are deaf and hard of hearing, have a product that we value and a brand that we can respect.
Lisnen, external link hopes to disrupt the industry by utilizing modern advances in technology, including artificial intelligence and deep learning, all directly on your smartphone. “You don’t have to feel the need to buy a new device, and that gives a lot of people reassurance.” Loss of hearing also often comes along with stigma, but Lisnen, external link is a tool that can help people be more aware of their surroundings, without forcing them to announce their hearing loss to everyone around them.
As a member of the Social Ventures Zone, Abraham has been able to develop her business in new and exciting ways since joining the Zone last year. “What I find very helpful is finding strategic ways to tackle business challenges,” from market validations to finding new ways to leverage her own knowledge, the Social Ventures Zone has helped Abraham build Lisnen, external link as a business and grow meaningful connections. “I have to say their support has been really rewarding in many ways, even just the community in itself."