GrabCAD recently finished the pro bono Challenge to design an easy to manufacture closed caption pair of glasses for the hearing impaired. The community submitted a lot of great entries, but as always, there can only be one 1st place.
Alex Kukoff spent some time with the Challenge winner, Anirban Ghosh, to get the story behind what it took to take the number 1 spot in the "Eyes to Hear With" Challenge.
What inspired you to develop your winning design?
In my country there are millions of deaf and hard of hearing people. Considering the fact that a large number of them cannot afford the current solutions, I wanted to create a solution which would be efficient and cost effective.
What did you take into consideration when first outlining your design?
I wanted the design to be cost effective, as comfortable as possible, durable and easy to manufacture.
What were some kinks in your design that you worked out along the way?
As the design is very simple, I did not face many problems. The one major problem I faced was that I had to come up with a solution to make the text easy to read even though the text would be very close to the eyes.
How did you feel when you found out you were a finalist? When you won?
I was humbled by this honour. I also felt happy about the fact that a product I had designed would come to life.
Do you have any connections to the hard-of-hearing/disabled community?
No I don’t.
Added: Although we at GrabCAD think Anirban has made a new friend in Alexandra Kukoff.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently, regarding function or aesthetics?
I am very happy with the design and though I know it is far from perfect, I am satisfied.
Did any other designs, apart of the Challenge or not, influence your decision making?
I took inspiration from everyday things. The structure of the glasses was inspired by a pair of glasses I use at the workshop.
Moving forward, what is your next step with the design?
I believe that the design has potential far beyond movies; it could be used to help deaf people to communicate with other people by using voice recognition.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
All I hope is that the final product touches lives of all the people who need it all around the world.
In first place is Anirban Ghosh’s prototype, the one we’ll be manufacturing! We really loved the aesthetic aspects of Ghosh’s design — the bridge separating the lenses of the glasses is clear, which will, in hindsight, make it easier to read captioning, and the button on the side of the frames to turn captioning on and off was really along the lines of what we’d envisioned originally — and we really loved the way Ghosh incorporated the app aspect of the Challenge. Congratulations, Anirban!"
- Alex Kukoff, GrabCAD Community Advisor.
Learn more and enter your designs for GrabCAD Challenges here.