By Tara Rippin • 25 February 2021 • 11:33
Deaf boy, 9, wins international contest with invention inspired by superhero.
IRON MAN living Gonzalo Zafra from Madrid rose to the challenge of designing a creative idea to improve the quality of life for people with hearing impairments, entering the MED-EL international competition ‘Ideas to Listen’.
The competition was staged to mark International Cochlear Implant Day, which is celebrated today, February 25.
Inspirational Gonzalo came up with an invention that involves an assistant with artificial intelligence, integrated into his cochlear implant – a device that transforms acoustic signals into electronic signals.
“Just as Iron Man has JARVIS, his assistant with artificial intelligence, I would like to have RONDIS, an assistant integrated into my RONDO 2,” he said.
“Some examples of what he could do would be to tell me the weather in the morning, remind me what I have to do according to my calendar, receive messages directly from my parents or control the volume based on ambient noise,” explained Gonzalo.
At birth, Gonzalo was diagnosed with severe hearing loss deep in the left ear and finally had to have an implant.
“I have hearing loss and having a technology like RONDO 2 in my ear is almost like a super power, since it allows me to do something that I couldn’t before: listen. If technology evolves, it could allow me to do many more things.”
In total, 108 children from 28 different countries entered the competition, and a jury 13 winners who will receive a laptop or tablet.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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