- Published on 18 March 2019
Inventors as young as seven and eight-years-old have impressed the Austrian hearing tech firm MED-EL enough to win these talents a trip to Innsbruck to discuss innovations ranging from surf-friendly implants to a bike helmet for a CI-wearing dad.
Fernando Linares, from Valladolid in Spain, likes surfing, so he has drawn up an invisible internal-only, waterproof implant that is not exposed to knocks, dampness or risk of loss. He is one of 341 six-to-twelve-year-olds from 19 countries who submitted entries in the Ideas4ears competition run by the CI and hearing tech manufacturer MED-EL.
Fernando (on the picture) was just over one-year-old when his own hearing loss led to him receiving two cochlear implants. Now eight, the youngster admitted to the Spanish press agency Efe that he would like to pimp these devices to suit his lifestyle.
Along with eight other winners, such as the UK's Betty Seabrook, 8, from Lymm in Cheshire, Fernando will enjoy his prize of a trip to see MED-EL at their Innsbruck base in Austria, where they will all show off their ideas. Betty put her mind to designing a bike helmet with an adjustable foam lining that will allow her CI-using father to enjoy more comfortable cycling. MED-EL obviously valued "Betty's Brilliant Bike Helmet" highly, as they did with other inventions sent in by children in the USA, Belarus, Australia, India, Germany, Chile, and South Africa.
Other ideas from these innovating kids include a graded-volume wake-up feature for implants that avoids sound shock, a charge-from-mobile battery boost facility, and a laser box to repair inner hair cells while you sleep. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow!