ideas4ears children’s invention contest: global winners announced!

Jan 31, 2023

January 31, 2023 – (Innsbruck, Austria): MED-EL, a leading provider and inventor of hearing implant systems, has announced the winners of its global children's invention contest, ideas4ears

Children from 21 different countries participated in the contest, which challenges 6-12 year old to create new innovations that could one day improve the lives of people with hearing loss.  According to the WHO, one in five people live with hearing loss, so it’s not surprising that many of the children who took part invented something based on their experiences with family members, friends or even for themselves! 

When a child has been born deaf, parents often worry whether their newborn baby can have a life without limitations. Will they be able to develop spoken language, will they be able to attend a mainstream school, and will their hearing loss prevent them from living the life that they dream of? 

The ideas4ears contest proves that children whose lives have been affected by hearing loss can thrive and even one day become inventors of the future. 

Ready for take-off: children with hearing implants are using their life experiences to reach for the stars and help other youngsters just like them with their inventions to support those with hearing loss.


The ideas sent in the contest ranged from the imaginative to the everyday. Just a small taste of this year's contributions: captioning glasses that print conversation right on the lenses; a special helmet for people who wear an audio processor and want to cycle and ski; a cochlear implant that can be recharged by human movement; and an audio processor in the form of an ear prosthesis. 

From these entries to this year’s contest, the best ideas from 9 countries were chosen to win a once in a lifetime trip to Innsbruck, Austria – the home of MED-EL! 

Introducing the grand prize winners for ideas4ears 2023 

  • Chiara Schmidt, 7 years old from Austria 
  • Bulat Aliaskarov, 11 years old from Germany 
  • Ridaan Kharbanda, 8 years old from India 
  • Kevin Sigismondi, 10 years old from Italy 
  • Daniel Alberto San Martín García, 9 years old from Spain 
  • Zoé Slinn, 6 years old from Switzerland 
  • Genevieve Myers, 9 years old from the United States 
  • León Sandoval, 9 years old from Mexico  
  • Lía Dominga Escobedo Arros, 8 years old from Chile 

Meet the ideas4ears mastermind Geoffrey Ball 

Geoffrey Ball, ideas4ears Head Judge.

The mastermind behind ideas4ears and the contest’ Head Judge is Geoffrey Ball. Geoffrey became deaf as a toddler and then went on to invent a revolutionary middle ear implant to treat his own hearing loss – the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE. 

“The inventors may be young, but they are so insightful, seeing the future of hearing implant technologies often well ahead of the curve. The world seen through a young person’s eyes is one full of optimism, they approach an invention challenge with an unfiltered lens and offer their perceptive insight for innovations. The future is in safe hands with such inspiring ideas4ears inventors to lead the way going forward,” says Geoffrey Ball, inventor of the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE middle ear implant. 

If you’re worried about your hearing loss or the hearing loss of a family member, take a free online hearing test at


About MED-EL

MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication and quality of life. The Austrian-based, privately owned business was co-founded by industry pioneers Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose ground-breaking research led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant (CI), which was successfully implanted in 1977 and was the basis for what is known as the modern CI today. This laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date, MED-EL has more than 2,500 employees from around 80 nations and 30 locations worldwide.
The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling people in 137 countries enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a MED-EL device. MED-EL’s hearing solutions include cochlear and middle ear implant systems, a combined electric acoustic stimulation hearing implant system, auditory brainstem implants as well as surgical and non-surgical bone conduction devices.


Doz. DI Dr DDr med. h.c. Ingeborg Hochmair

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