Ideas for Ears: Local Auckland school girl wins a trip to Austria with her Ideas for Ears invention concept for people with hearing loss.

Ideas for Ears: Local Auckland school girl wins a trip to Austria with her Ideas for Ears invention concept for people with hearing loss.

10 November 2017, 2:30PM

New Zealand, 9 November 2017 – MED-EL, a leading provider and inventor of hearing implant systems, today announced the winners of its global children inventor’s competition, Ideas for Ears. Olivia Strang from Wai-O-Taikai Bay, Auckland, New Zealand will join children from seven countries next autumn at MED-EL’s headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria.

The competition, which launched on Kid Inventors’ Day in January 2017, challenged children aged 6 to 15 years old from across the world to create a piece of artwork showcasing their invention to improve the quality of life of people living with hearing loss. Whilst celebrating children’s creativity, Ideas for Ears aimed to improve children’s understanding of the challenges associated with hearing loss and deafness as well as the benefits of treatment.

“As a company born from inventors, MED-EL’s story is proof of the power of a good idea and the impact that inventions can have on the lives of people living with a condition like hearing loss and deafness,” said Geoffrey Ball, inventor of the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE. “The one-of-a-kind inventions proposed by the children are impressive and we look forward to meeting the winners in Innsbruck in 2018.”

Olivia Strang, on hearing that she was one of the 7 worldwide winners "I felt so happy, like I was going to cry. I’m really excited!I chose these things to make people’s lives better! Because what if there’s a fire, then how would you wake up, or how would you wake to an alarm in the morning. I’m looking forward to next year and going on the trip to see the MED-EL headquarters!"

Competition entries came in the form of drawings, videos and beautifully designed presentations, all aiming to improve the lives of people with hearing loss. Inventions included cinema glasses with subtitles, a Global Positioning System (GPS) device to locate lost audio processors and glasses that turn conversations into readable text.

During the trip to MED-EL’s headquarters, the winners will have the opportunity to discover how MED-EL’s life-changing devices are produced and the cutting-edge research being undertaken by the company. They will explore the science of hearing loss through a tour of the company’s science centre and meet with MED-EL’s many inventors to learn about the stages of bringing an idea to fruition.

“We’re inspired by the quality of submissions and great ideas coming from our inventors of the future,” said MED-EL Australasia’s Managing Director, Robyn Shakes “Hearing loss can have profound effects not only on communication, but also health, independence, well-being and daily function. We believe it’s through activities such as Ideas for Ears that people will increasingly understand the significant impact that hearing loss has on our community and the many life-changing solutions available to those affected. Congratulations to all our winners!”

During the winner’s trip, the children along with their guardian will be capturing and sharing their journey on social media using the hashtag #ideas4ears.