Korean startup Olive Union, which has been in the spotlight recently for its cutting-edge Olive hearing aids, has managed to raise over USD $147,000, exceeding the company’s original target of $20,000 by 740%. With still 20 days left in its campaign and a positive response from backers and media, its expected that the amount will continue to quickly grow.
“Olive’ is a hearing aid designed to be smart and inconspicuous. The device can be connected to an app which lets the user control their hearing aid’s volume and frequency to suit the environment.
Other features include customized hearing profiles, and being able to carry out hearing tests – eliminating the need to book in and pay for a separate test with an audiologist. Data collected by Olive hearing aids can be utilized by users to measure their hearing levels, and will also be used by Olive Union’s developers to make further improvements to the devices.
Aside from the technology, the company plans to make the hearing aids affordable, something that’s often a barrier for many. It also wants to remove the negative social perception felt by many who wear hearing aids, and has done this with a sleek, modern design. Batteries on the hearing aids last eight hours and come with a nifty charging case.
Despite a limited user base, Olive has already recruited over 1,600 volunteer beta testers who will provide feedback to the company, and is still looking for testers of all hearing levels.
“Crowdfunding has enabled us to recognize the problems with hearing aids for many people around the world and confirm their willingness to participate in beta testing,” said Owen Song, Founder and CEO of Olive Union. “Using the data acquired through beta testing, we are now able to offer an even better product.”
Olive Union plans to deliver Olive hearing aids to eligible backers of the project from July next year, with final product shipping scheduled for December 2017.