Man works toward better communication through devices

Lone Tree veteran working on invention for the hearing-impaired

Posted 9/11/17

In July 2016, Richard Braden woke up and couldn’t hear his grandfather clock. The 80-year-old Lone Tree resident knew that years of working with “big guns” in the U.S. Army had caught up with him, but it gave him the idea for his first …

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Man works toward better communication through devices

Lone Tree veteran working on invention for the hearing-impaired

Posted

In July 2016, Richard Braden woke up and couldn’t hear his grandfather clock. The 80-year-old Lone Tree resident knew that years of working with “big guns” in the U.S. Army had caught up with him, but it gave him the idea for his first invention.

Braden began designing the Peck and Talk, or P & T, a device that would take spoken dialogue and transcribe it onto a screen.

“I wanted something that I could wear around my neck that I could hold and would print out your words,” he says.

For users not in the same room, the device operates like a walkie-talkie that uses 50 channels to connect with other users. For people in a face-to-face conversation, the P & T would instantly transcribe words spoken into a microphone onto a screen, eliminating the need to read lips.

What sets the P & T apart from smartphones and other similar devices, Braden says, is that his invention is streamlined to focus on only the audio equipment needed to take in speech and the data storage necessary to transcribe language.

“I’m looking for a really big microchip,” he says.

His target consumers are hearing-impaired adults like himself in the United States, but he adds that teenagers, known for passing notes and Snapchat messages, also have a desire to communicate discreetly.

“My greatest market may not be deaf people, though that’s who it’s intended for,” he says, adding that each club or group a high school student is involved in could have its own channel for transmitting messages with the P & T. “Teenagers like to talk to each other quietly.”

Startup companies historically face an uphill battle to succeed, and Braden is aware he faces a challenge to break into the technology industry.

Braden is in the process of looking for investors and he hopes to find a manufacturer that will give him 90 days from shipment to payment, after which he’ll be on the hook for the cost. He knows startup ventures like his are risky, but he’s more focused on seeing his idea come to be than turning a large profit.

“If I don’t sell them, I’m in deep trouble,” he says, undeterred. “A man as old as I am, why try to make a lot of money?”

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