The Solar Ear has been created as a low-cost and easy to maintain option for the numerous people who can’t even afford the simple luxury of owning a hearing aid. Estimates say that nearly 600 million people in the world have some sort of hairing impairment, out of these, only a small fraction, that is 8 million people have hearing aids. A number of factors are responsible for this small number, ranging from prohibitive costs to unavailability of electricity to charge the device.
The Solar Ear package comes with a solar charger and two rechargable 1600 mAh NiMh batteries. Batteries can be charged completely in six to eight hours of sunlight, and last for nearly a week. These batteries can live on for two to three years, and the replacement comes for as low as $1. What is strange is the $100 price this retails for. While it may sound fairly low, the device is meant for people who cannot afford conventional hearing aids, and who may not even have access to electricity. Considering the demographic, the $100 tag seems huge, and a much cheaper device would be a lot more appreciable.