The Index Project
Index Award 2017 Finalists
Ava
24/7 access to conversations for the hearing impaired

Around 5% of the world population suffers from disabling hearing loss, and for those with hearing issues, simple dinner table group conversations can be pretty painful to stay on top of, as everyone tends to speak at once.

Ava is the first mobile app that makes group conversations between deaf & hard-of-hearing people and their hearing peers, both possible and effortless. The Ava app connects to other devices in the room and leverages their microphones to listen to and interpret the conversation, right on your screen, and shows you in real-time, who says what around you. Each participant in a conversation simply downloads the app and sets up a profile. Everyone then just talks normally near their phones’ microphone and the speech to text translation is then organized into a threaded message for everyone in the group. Ava users get 5 hours of free usage per month, and can upgrade to a paid unlimited version of the app for $29 per month.

The potential for the app expands well beyond dinner table conversations, and fits into pretty much anything where multiple people are chatting in an environment where deaf people are present. For deaf users that often can only achieve 20 percent accuracy in reading lips during a conversation - making up the rest through body language and context - the ability to gain much more accuracy through using Ava is quite empowering.