Solar Powered Hearing Aids

  • Recyclability
  • Solar power
  • Access
  • Integration
  • Affordability
  • Developing market

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Solar Ear

Published 08 Dec 2016

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Solar Powered Hearing Aids

Today, less than 3% of the 624 million people who need a hearing aid can afford one,given a starting price of 1500 Euros.Two-thirds live in developing countries yet less than 12% of all hearing aids sold can be found in these countries. One of the shortcomings, which stops the process is a hearing aid battery. A hearing aid battery costs about 1 Euro and lasts 1 week. This makes it too expensive (over 400 Euros over the life of an aid) and too often a person in a developing country living in a rural setting cannot find a battery. Our workers who are deaf, and or HIV-AIDS positive and or in a wheelchair and with only a grade 9 education,INVENTED, but did not patent the first rechargeable hearing aid battery which costs 1 Euro but lasts 2 to 3 years. To charge this battery they invented a solar powered recharger. This charger can charge over-night our rechargeable hearing aid battery which fits into 90% of ALL BTE hearing aids of our competitors, plus our, FDA, CE approved hearing aids start at a cost of less than 100 Euros. We are able to sell our rechargeable hearing aids, solar charger and rechargeable hearing aid batteries at a price less than people would pay for batteries alone, plus can save over 200,000,000 hearing aid batteries from being thrown out every year. We also transfer our technology to other like minded organizations,creating more jobs for people who are deaf,plus low cost aids for people in other continents in a sustainable professional business platform

How it benefits society

The philosopher,Wittgenstein said; "My language is the limit to my world." Our goal is to help children before the age of 3 the ability to hear so that they can learn to speak and go to a public school as there are few schools for the deaf in developing countries. We believe that only through education can you break the cycle of poverty.The economic, health, social and educational costs of exclusion in society for people with a disability is much higher than the price of inclusion. People who are deaf, who speak in sign language,their hand-eye co-ordination is better than 95% of people who are oral. We need their special ability to micro-solder the electronic components in our solar charger and hearing aids. We want to show society the ability of people with a disability,so that they will be hired by other companies.Finally 1/3rd of our profits go towards our social mission.We have;lowered HIV- AIDS rate in deaf community in Botswana from 38% to 10%,changed public policy in China toward people who are deaf and will have a peace-building mission in Mid East when Muslim, Christian and Jewish people who are deaf will work together manufacturing the Solar Ear products. As we expanded from Botswana, to Brazil to China, each group of workers who are deaf have improved our solar charger. It went from sun only charge,to include household light to include a cell phone connection. Each new operation will be challenged to improve our solar charger or invent a new rechargeable product.

Who we are


Solar Ear
Howard Weinstein, Sarah Phiri ( woman who is deaf), Tendekayi Kastiga

Twenty years ago, in the middle of the night, my 10-year old daughter Sarah, suddenly died of a brain aneurysm.I went back to work the following week, at the plumbing company where I was President, they fired me. They figured I could not make any profits for them. I did a year of psychotherapy but found that the therapist need more help than I did. He was crazy. I started another business but did not enjoy it, eventually selling my shares for $1. Having the skills as a professional manager, I figured, in 2002, I would go as a volunteer to Africa, help women earn a living as women take care of the health and education of their children. I remember my first day, in the the office, where we had no products, people , money and only 4 tables and chairs, there was knock at the door. It was a lady with a young person. The lady told me that her student Sarah, (same name as my daughter) needed a hearing aid. After a 20 second delay I was able to say that Sarah was going to get a hearing aid. The next week, I went to the school for the deaf, to talk to Sarah and the other students who are deaf. They told me about their lives, about being poor and about the stigma of having a disability in their culture. They also told me their hopes and dreams, i.e. getting a meaningful job and being able to afford and find a hearing aid battery. I wrote their hopes and dreams into a sustainable business plan. We were able to raise $250,000. I then went back to the school, hired the young deaf adults, found them a teacher of electronics and then challenged them to develop the products they needed. They then designed, manufacture and now teach their technology plus HIV-AIDS educational programs to other people who are deaf. Today, Sarah is the President of the Solar Ear program in Botswana.

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