We here at AtomLeap are really excited to introduce the latest team to join our accelerator, Hearable Labs. Now, much of the attention within the augmented reality space falls on the visual aspects of how we can manipulate what we see. Yet, sight and sound go hand in hand — so Hearable Labs is developing the auditory tools we could use to augment how we hear the world.
To give readers of this blog a bit of an intro on our newest team, we got together with Polly, Hearable Labs’ CEO, and asked her a few questions about herself, the team, and what they are trying to do.
Happy reading, and if this post tickles your entrepreneurial bones, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the AtomLeap High-Tech Accelerator if you are a Berlin-based startup looking to commercialize your solution and launch into the market.
In your own words, what does the company do?
We’re building the technology to enable ‘augmented hearing’, which is about being in control of what you hear (and don’t hear). Noise cancelling headphones are an example of augmented hearing, but we want to push the technology further to give you more control over your auditory environment.
What problem are you addressing and why is it important to address it?
Hearable devices have been around for a few years now but haven’t yet delivered what’s been promised. That’s because augmented hearing is hard – it’s like putting a whole recording studio in your ear. Making this technology available will enable a whole range of hearable devices to be realised, which will have huge social benefits.
How did you come across this idea?
Having previously worked on hearable devices in London. I found that there are many complex engineering challenges and every company is solving them from scratch. I really liked a lot of the ideas around hearables – allowing people to control what they hear, removing the social stigma from assistive hearing, giving humans superhearing — so I wanted to find a way to accelerate their development.
Who are the people behind Hearable Labs?
We’re four, Paul, Aarthi, Aga, and myself. Paul has a Master’s degree in Engineering, and is our signal processing engineer. Aarthi, our business analyst, holds a Bachelor’s in Engineering, and topped it off with an MBA. Aga is our software engineer, and holds both a Bachelor’s and a PhD. And as for myself, I hold a Bachelor’s in Engineering, as well as a Master’s in Science.
The four of us started working together officially in January 2019, thanks to Atomleap. We’re from four different countries — France, India, Ireland and Poland — and between us, we speak 8 languages!
What drew you to Berlin?
I came to check out Berlin last summer as I’d heard great things about the startup scene here — particularly for hardware startups. I asked people from my network in London to introduce me to people working in hardware in Berlin, who I then met and quizzed on my trip here. I quickly discovered that Berlin does indeed have a fantastic hardware community and I was overwhelmed by how welcoming they were to me.
Before I’d even decided if I would come here to live, they were organising space for me to work and advising me on how to get accommodation and funding for Hearable Labs. I was also really attracted to the lifestyle I perceived on that trip. Coming from London, Berlin was a breath of fresh air. The trains aren’t so crowded, people walk a little slower, and everything just feels a bit calmer.
What prompted you to found your own company?
I’ve been working with startups for the last few years, both as an employee and as an external consultant. I was interested in starting my own company for a while but I knew it had to be something I really cared about. The idea for Hearable Labs was something I could get behind because it’s an interesting engineering challenge and it benefits society.