“Thus I Have Heard” - Hearing Loss Has Plagued Me All My Life

This post was written by Ying Jun (应军) in Chinese and translated to English by Incus.

Ying Jun wearing Kite 2 during sports competition

Thus I Have Heard

"Thus I Have Heard"

The phrase above is from one of my favourite Buddhist scriptures. It keeps returning to my mind. Hearing loss has troubled me all my life. For most, chatting with others is something relaxing or pleasant, but to me, it is associated with fear and trauma. I have been dreaming about barrier-free communication.

I have suffered from sensorineural hearing loss since I was a child, and my hearing thresholds in both ears worsened from 60 dB at the beginning to 72 dB, which is severe hearing loss. I am engaged in technical work in the overseas market in the communication industry. Since my 30s, I have relied on hearing aids to maintain my job and communicate. Over the years, I have tried products from various foreign hearing aid manufacturers, but the results were unsatisfactory.

With these “broken ears”, I have travelled the world during the past 20 years and helped countless customers resolve complicated technical problems, but I have never been able to solve my hearing problem. Being over 50 years old, I thought this would be my destiny until an accident gave me new, unexpected knowledge.

The Moment When Time Stood Still

During the summer of 2022, my daughter, who earned admission to a top fashion design college in the United States, wanted to travel to Yunnan province in China by herself before embarking on her trip to America.

I was concerned about her travelling alone, so I asked for a long vacation to accompany her. I did not expect this father-daughter trip would take us to the border between life and death.

Via Kunming and Lijiang, we arrived at the trip's starting point: Shangri-La in Yunnan province. As soon as she put down her luggage, my daughter went to the hotel roof to view the scenery. Unexpectedly, she misstepped and fell nearly eight metres. I was behind her, witnessing the whole process, and felt my world demolished as she fell. For a moment, time stood still.

Girl on roof

When classmates and friends at home and abroad heard what had happened, they spontaneously organised a rescue effort, with some rushing to the scene and others scrambling for resources and support from overseas. Overwhelming amounts of love, thoughts and prayers came together to support us.

Fortunately, after several long days and nights, she miraculously recovered. When she woke up in the ICU, unable to speak because of the ventilator intubated in her mouth, she used a small writing board to express her first words after the resurrection: "I love you all".

I had never thought that my daughter, who has been rebellious and self-willed since she was a child, would suddenly write such a sentence. I even doubted whether "you all" included her father - myself. During those days full of despair and torment, but also full of love and emotion, she might not have known how long the list of supporters was. Every day the list was growing longer and longer. And on the list was a man named Calvin.

Writing board saying I love you all in Chinese

Because of My Child, I Became Attached to a Smart Personal Sound Amplifier 

Because of multiple injuries all over her body, she needed to undergo lengthy treatment in the hospital. I dropped everything and followed her through different departments at Yunnan Hospital. 

I had to communicate a lot with doctors and nurses while she was in the hospital. I had to answer countless calls daily, and each word might be related to my daughter's survival. Faced with a large amount of complex information, I felt the limitations of my hearing very strongly, and I even sensed I was going completely deaf from the stress and gravity of the situation.

I suddenly remembered that not long before going to Yunnan, I had attended a lecture in Shenzhen about the latest hearing aid technology and products by someone named Calvin (CEO and Founder of Incus).

I contacted Calvin immediately, and by the next day, he sent me their latest product, a Bluetooth-enabled Smart Personal Sound Amplifier called Kite 2, equipped with the newest version of their algorithms.

Compared with the traditional hearing aids I would constantly wear either inside or behind my ears, this product features the latest wireless earphone technology and hangs around the neck. When I need a rest, I can leave the earpieces hanging from the neckband without worrying about losing them. The design also allows for more ventilation in the ear canal. It can also switch between the hearing assistance mode and Bluetooth Earphone Mode automatically, making face-to-face communication and answering calls very smooth.

It was the rainy season in Kunming. The weather was erratic and could change from sunny to heavily rainy within a day. Calvin said the earphones are IP54-rated and can withstand regular sun and rain. That is indeed the case. With the help of Calvin, all kinds of daily communication and interactions have become much easier. I did not only use it in the hospital - I even wore it to participate in a sports competition in Kunming to cheer for my daughter’s recovery.

I Became a Spokesperson for Incus

After my daughter’s condition improved and stabilized, our family returned to Shenzhen together. I immediately visited the office of Calvin’s company Incus in the Hi-Tech Park, Nanshan, and talked about my feelings and suggestions for new Smart Personal Sound Amplifier products.

I heard from Calvin that Incus has built an industry-leading research team, which has developed core hearing aid algorithms, such as dynamic compensation technology based on brain science, all implemented on a 28nm chip, which gives Incus’ products a good technological foundation.

Fitting is possible via an app, and the product receives iterative upgrades for download. What interests me and what I admire even more is that the company has not only disrupted the domestic market but has global ambitions.

Unknowingly, I became not only a beneficiary of Incus’ products but also a spokesperson. I hope that technology products could bring benefits to more people worldwide.

Notebooks with writing in Chinese by Ying Jun

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