A New Way to Listen to Music – with Rearia Hai
There’s a new way to listen to your favorite tunes—and it’s all thanks to Rearia Hai.
Founded by Kevin Cheng and Ansin Lau, the duo set out to create a product that changes how the D/deaf* community experiences music.
At 13, Lau noticed he couldn’t join in with his friends while they listened to their favorite albums. His MP3 player didn’t cut it; his aids got in the way. Streamers, neck loops, and ear hooks were uncomfortable or muffled the bass.
Lau carried that experience with him, serving as motivation to create a tool that serves all members of the deaf community.
For three years now, the team at Rearia Hai has kept their goal going. While they originally set out to create a vibration alarm for the deaf community, they bookmarked that dream for another day. For now, their focus is on creating an immersive music-listening experience for everyone.
But they can’t do that without your help! Though they’re receiving government funding, there are additional costs and fees they can’t cover alone. With less than 25 days to meet their goal, they need more support to release the Hai as a mass-produced item. Ready to help? Head to their IndieGoGo campaign and check out their perks and reward tiers: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hai-the-most-accessible-music-mate-for-all#/
Eager to get the Hai in your hands? Its sleek, flat service is perfect for stickers of any size. In the future, Lau and Cheng plan to team up with a group of artists to make Hai-specific accessories.
The Hai is compatible with Apple and Android phones, with the Hai app coming to the Google Play store first.
While the Hai is still in development, take a look here to learn about the rest of the team, Olaide Anjorino and Maija Lindström, and their passion for helping the hard-of-hearing community.
Eager to start your own device for the deaf and hard-of-hearing? Here are some tips from the team:
Olaide: “Take time to understand the real issues that are impacting members of the hard-of-hearing community. Do the research and listen to what the people truly want.”
Kevin: “For me, I recommend keeping telecoil infrastructure alive. This technology benefits the community.”
Ansin: “Having hard-of-hearing/deaf members in the team is really useful, as it helps you develop a product to the best of your ability.”
Maija: “It is super important to support D/deaf and HOH engineers, marketers, designers! So, do not have a team of just hearing people, please! Include the needs of the signing Deaf community, and try to be aware of stuff like audism and ableism. Do not promote technology just purely for the purpose of fitting into the hearing world, but rather see the D/deaf and HOH community as a unique and valuable one. Try to cater to our true needs, not the hearing world’s needs.”
*D/deaf denotes culturally Deaf individuals as well.