Safewave’s Wearable Tech Aims to Bridge the Gap for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Communities

safewave technology deaf hard of hearing
April 16, 2024

Dave Kemp interviews Trevon Bruch, the founder of Safewave, a startup creating a Bluetooth-enabled wristband connecting to smart home and security devices, enabling discreet vibration alerts over auditory notifications.

Trevon shares Safewave’s origin story driven by a mission to offer accessible tech solutions, especially for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing, detailing the extensive R&D, partnerships, and community input influencing Safewave’s evolution over five years. One of the key highlights is Safewave’s ability to seamlessly integrate with a wide range of smart devices, from doorbells and baby monitors to workplace security systems. This versatility allows users to customize their notification preferences and create a tailored, haptic-based awareness system.

Trevon also touches on the potential applications of Safewave for caregivers, individuals with cognitive impairments, and other groups who can benefit from discreet, wearable alerts. After more than 5 years of development, Safewave is poised to launch in May 2024.

Full Episode Transcript

All right, everybody, and welcome to another episode of This Week in Hearing. I am thrilled to be joined today by Trevon Bruch. Thanks so much for being on the show today. How you doing? Doing well, man. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. For sure. Absolutely. Well, wanted to have you on. as the founder of Safewave a very interesting and innovative new product, I thought it would be a great opportunity to bring you on and let you talk all about the genesis of your product, how this whole thing came to be, and then ultimately, what Safewave is striving to be. Yeah, absolutely, for sure. like I said, I definitely appreciate the opportunity. Right. yeah, so as the founder of Safeway, I guess we can kind of get into the background of really what Safewave is. so over here at Safewave we’re a startup company located in the northern Kentucky region. I tell people Cincinnati because that’s like the closest thing that people really relate to, but really northern Kentucky. And we’re building a wearable product in the midwest. Right. So here at Safewave, we developed these wristbands, and these wristbands connect via Bluetooth to our platform, which is a mobile app. and what it does is it allows users to connect this band to any mobile application, turning those alerts into a vibration on the wrist. many different cases doorbells, baby monitors, fire alarms, things like that, that are smart. it’s kind of what we think about when we think about the Safewave. I love it. Just to put my Oaktree head on here for a second, for a long time, we’ve sold these alerting systems. And so the old analog alerting systems of the past were these stationary devices that you had the main receiver and you had the different transmitters that were detecting these different sounds throughout, like a, you know, living environment, like a house or an apartment or something like that. The doorbell, the baby monitor, the fire alarm. and so it’s like this has been a product, I guess, that’s existed in the past, but it’s sort of that stage one and then to now see somebody that’s come along and taken that concept, but modernized it in a wearable form factor that’s compatible with all these smart devices that are just so pervasive today. it’s really, really cool and exciting to see the next generation of this product. I think it’s very interesting. When we were building this we had a lot of people actually come to us and recommend that we make it a listening device. so people were basically thinking, hey, we could build this. How about you guys build this product to listen to everything just around you surroundings. It just makes everything easier. But I think what kind of pushed us away from that was just, I want something to be a, for sure. I don’t want the band to sit there and just be this listening device that’s trying to pick up sounds and then convert it to this. I think the tools are already out there, right? So I always like to say, you know, I think at Safeway we’re not really reinventing the wheel, right? We’re just kind of adding our ticker on that wheel. We’re just kind of helping it flow, the water flow a little better. Right. That’s kind of, that’s kind of how I think about it. we don’t necessarily need microphones because Amazon has microphones, Google has microphones. I don’t need to be able to listen for a fire alarm. There’s already products for that. Right? So I think just having a universal kind of a one fits all and allow the user to customize it, right? So the fact that this band, as I was mentioning, you know, this can connect to a ring doorbell, right? let’s say I connected to the ring doorbell. I can make it vibrate, let’s say two times. Whereas, you know, my son crying is a little bit more important than me getting to the door. I might have it vibrate with the owlet system, let’s say five times, right? So I think just letting the systems that are out there do what they are supposed to do, which is listening and just kind of relying on notifications to do their job and then turn it into a vibration. I feel like we kind of took the easier path, right? People think it’s the harder path, but I think it was the easier path. It’s a it’s a notification that is it’s true. And trust it. People trust ring, people trust adt things like that. So I think just adding value to them. I think it’s really interesting though, because I think this whole idea of creating these custom haptics for anyone that’s worn, like, I have an apple watch and so I have some different custom haptics built into it for different notifications. So it’s obviously not the same where I’m using it in conjunction in tandem with these smart devices, but even just with notifications through my phone. And I think that it’s actually a really powerful way to sort of be alerted in a tailored way. So just to your point there, having these different types of haptics represent different things. is a really efficient way, I think, to kind of have like that sensory, more or less that additional sensory of what’s going on around you, which obviously is very, I think, applicable for the Deaf population as well as, you know, older adults, people with hearing loss. Yeah. I also think too, just going back to the haptics, it’s like, I always use this example in the morning, an alarm clock. as a kid in school, right, you wake up in the morning, there’s an alarm clock, you’re gonna hit this news, you’re gonna sleep past it. The time I always woke up was when my mother would come in the room and she would poke me to wake me up or push me to wake me up. Right? Pull the sheet off you about the touch, the physical touch of it, right? So that’s what I always related back to was just, you know, hey, I feel like touch is an extremely important sense and I feel like it’s not played on enough in this space. Apple Watch. Amazing. They do haptics. but I think that, you know, us hitting the median and owner nerve on the bottom of the wrist a little bit more powerful. I mean, and on top of it, we could host an Apple Watch, right? yeah. So as well. So on my wrist right now, I have the Safeway band, you know, the motors at the bottom and our adapter piece we send with it. But users, we’re not trying to necessarily like, take over the Apple Watch. Right. We work with the Apple Watch. So you can just slide that apple Watch face on there and still get that strong vibration if needed, which I think is. That’s a huge point though. I mean, because again, it’s you know, it’s a pretty highly sought after piece of real estate on the body. You know, a lot of people already have a watch. A lot of people have something that’s dedicated for their wrist. And so I think that making the band conducive with something like an apple Watch just, it makes it that much more of a no brainer. I think that you can use it in conjunction. I mean, really, you’re talking about taking away then just the generic ban on a watch and replacing it with something that’s actually got real functionality apart from the watch. so in that regard, I think that’s a smart move. I mean, what was that process like of maybe talk a little bit about how you guys got your product to where it is now, because I know that you’ve iterated and it’s been a little bit. Right. Can you kind of walk through the backstory of how the, how the company came to be and how you got it to where it is now? Yeah, absolutely. yeah, so first and foremost, it was with the help of a lot of people that were way smarter than me. Right. So my team and my team, the rock stars we’re a startup that literally we began in the basement. literally we started building this tech. I wish I had a picture on me. but we started building the tech in our engineer Brad’s basement. so, you know, we bought the 3d molds, we did the 3d models, we played with materials until we felt like we had the best type of texture to it. and then of course, now it’s, you got to find a manufacturer to do everything you’re asking to do. Right. So yeah, we start in the basement. Just material testing. we built the chip ourself, so the chips completely custom. at first, when we first built it, we thought that this was going to be an all in one system, meaning that when we first started out five years ago, we thought we were going to be selling a wristband, we thought we were going to be selling cameras. We thought we were going to be selling an ADT, basically competitor, but with a wristband. Right. and then you start learning more and it’s kind of what I was saying earlier is like, we don’t have to replicate anything that any smart system or any security system is doing. We can just offer an accessory that would just pair with anything. So I don’t need a ring. I don’t need a ring. Baby monitor and doorbell. Right? I could have a ring doorbell in it. Outlet, baby monitor. So just thinking through that process early, I think helped us kind of, you know, kind of shape the vision in which, you know, we’re kind of executing on now. so the process, like I said, started in the basement. Then we went out, we found a manufacturer. You get the manufacturer locked in and then you’re testing now. Now here’s the hard part. Right now we’re really seeing, is it going to tear on people’s wrists? Is it going to do this? Is it going to do that? Right. We thought we were only going to take like six months of testing. Completely, completely wrong. I think we’re on two years now. So it was two years testing. Right. Naive hungry entrepreneurs. Right, right. But anyway, yeah, so we got through the process. We were testing a lot, building a lot. You know, I think major pieces of this building process are some key highlights for the process. Was like, northern Kentucky University, for example. Zach Strobel over there, he’s super amazing. He was a part of the small business development department. they flew us down to Texas. we kind of had the first exposure of, like, what people are really building in the world for people. so it was an awesome environment to be in. It was the number two pitch competition in the country. So we were fortunate to build, like, to be a part of that journey. and I think that’s kind of what really excited us and pushed us further to keep actually pursuing this product. so from there, basically got some patent pendings on it with the help of NKU built a little more, built a little further. ended up partnering with a company called Primevo. So they were the number two Google partner in North America in the year 2014. they’ve helped build companies like Uber, Pinterest, Snapchat, all this good stuff. they built our platform both iOS and Google Play for completely free in exchange for, like, case studies, marketing, things like that. So that helped us on the platform side, like, drastically. Right. We already have an internal developer as well. So the fact that we were able to have that resource come in, kind of build it for him, and now he’s just in there managing it and fixing it. It complete game changer for our startup. I think any startup that’s in that position that gets an opportunity like that it’s just, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing. It’s such a good thing, but, yeah, so we got the app together, we got the band together obviously did a lot more testing you know, and started getting deaf influencers involved. So we work a lot with Matt Maxey. he’s a Deaf influencer. He actually, I’m pretty sure he just had a movie release on Tubi, but he’s like an executive producer and an influencer, that type of crowd. So we just started getting a bunch of traction around just you know, the culture itself, the people itself in the community. And seeing that, you know, hey, this is something new, this is something exciting. But also on the flip side, we start getting approached by businesses now, and that also would make us think a little bit different into the direction we’re going. So we started having manufacturers approach us in the sense of, hey, we have deaf employees that are missing alerts inside the warehouse. So then that makes us think. Hold up. So this band is bigger than just notifications inside your home, right? What if we think farther? What if we could make this to where when somebody is at their home and they’re wearing it, but when they go to the warehouse to work, it’s connecting to their security systems. Yeah. Or their manager communication. Or what if you have employees at, let’s say, a retail that work retail? Right. Majority of them speak over walkie talkie. I mean, if you’re. If you’re deaf, you’re not as fortunate. Right? What do you do? what resource do you have to know that the manager wants to speak with you? Right. So what if we can make this vibrate? then we thought even deeper, right? Wait. What if. What if this can connect to a vehicle and it’s, you know, while they’re driving to the job from home, and somebody honks at them. This vibrates. Or an emergency responders passing and it vibrates. Right. so that kind of brings into the vision piece. So right now where we’re at is we’re getting ready to launch May 6. So we’re hitting the market May 6. after five years of building. Congrats. Thank you. But the vision, this is kind of like just the first piece, right? So after all these individuals we talked to, we realized that this is deeper than just my first experience of a fire alarm. Right. Like, how do. How does the deaf community hear a fire alarm? because I experienced it as a hearing person, and that’s what. That’s what we were building at first, and it just turned into this thing where we can create almost an ecosystem and not necessarily, I think that’s what people were going for with, like, it should be able to listen. the listening is amazing because it creates that ecosystem wherever you go. But the way I’m thinking is, what if we can create an actual, like, targeted channel of systems, whether that’s security, fire, whatever it may be, all over the world, right. You start putting up these safe boxes in different grocery stores or whatever, and we could really, truly create a really connected environment through vibrations on the wrist. So that’s kind of where the vision is going with this first generation, right. It’s just this waterproof, wireless recharging band is one of a kind. It goes with you everywhere, and it will notify you how you want to be notified. I think that’s what we’re creating here. And I’m excited to just bring it and I’m excited to bring it to market. The next month. That’s very exciting. Congrats. Like I said again, that five years in the making, that has to feel pretty good that you’re that you guys are getting closer to bringing it to market. you know, I think it’s just a really interesting idea and concept in today’s time. I mean, just to your point there, you know, it’s not like there’s only a limited amount of use cases. I mean, the use cases are just going to kind of probably longitudinally expand as there’s more and more sensors in the world and smart devices. And, you know, I can totally see how this makes sense from sort of like consumer use cases, but also enterprise use cases where you have these large workforces that have very specific types of environments that from, like, an occupational health standpoint and safety standpoint, that you need to be providing these kinds of things. so I think there’s a lot of legs to it, and there’s a lot of different types of use cases. Again, like you said, beyond just the fire alarm or the baby crying or the doorbell. I mean, I think that as you, you see this sort of become more conducive with different types of systems, and those systems just become more pervasive everywhere. there seems to be a good fit here. Yeah. I mean like, even outside of just the Deaf community, we’ve been approached by caregivers. Right, where it’s like, you know, we’re taking care of a family member or we’re taking care of a patient, and we don’t know when they’re roaming inside the home. Right. we can set up security systems, but it sends a notification to my phone, so if I’m doing something or my phone is not on me and they’re moving around the home, or I’m outside doing yard work when they’re inside. Right. how are we notified when they’re moving? and that’s kind of where we step in, in that place, too, where it’s like these individuals, these caregivers, approached us. Like we can actually be alerted better by doing our job. Right. and even being approached by caregivers, it’s like, you know, we have multiple generations we’re trying to build to this, right. So this is just phase one. we plan on tackling dementia, Alzheimer’s, special needs things of that nature next. Right. which I think is cool. we can dive into that as well, if you want. But yeah, I think we’re going to touch a lot of people. and we’re projected to be building for over a billion people in this world. So I’m hoping we can make just a crazy difference. Right. That’s the biggest thing. Just I think, you know, connection, communication, location alerting is just that. That’s major for me. Yeah, that’s awesome. I mean, what’s the, is there a personal motivation behind all this? Or what’s the backstory there? Yeah, absolutely. so I like to look at, so I believe the community there’s a lot of underserved and overlooked communities when it comes to tech, right. And I think tech is such a thing that it’s, people think about the profit solely and kind of, you know, where, where can we make a lot of money? And I like the humanitarian approach. I think tech can be something beautiful for the world. Right. I could do both. Honestly, I could do both. Right. but where my connection was is I come from a community that’s overlooked and underserved. Right. I don’t bump into entrepreneurs. I don’t bump into investors. I don’t bump into, I don’t have family and friends I can call and get a first round investment from. Right. That’s not, that doesn’t exist. And from there, you know, I’m already, I feel I’m already at a disadvantage. and when it comes to individuals in the deaf, hard of hearing community and more communities, right, the tools that they have just, they’re not acceptable. They’re not acceptable. They’re underserved and they’re overlooked. It’s truly unacceptable. And then the prices for products that are decent, it’s just mind blowing. So it’s almost like the things that are good are almost too far out of reach if they do work. Yeah. which is why, you know, we’re 250 flat. Right, our apps free. But it’s, I related to that. I relate to that sense where I come from, a community where the resources aren’t, you know, that they’re not as great. And if they are, if there are resources, they go the wrong way. so that’s kind of where I work, where I connected. And it was just like anytime I would go to pitch this to any type of vc or investor, it just blew my mind how disconnected they were from the actual, the populations that, like, are needing things. Like, you know, how many people are deaf and hard of hearing? You know, over 460 million. Wait, really? Yeah. You know, like 15% of the US population is deaf and hard of hearing. Wait, really? That’s a big market. Like, you know, that this. So just the the constant being in a place of like, talking to people who have funds and all this and they’re really not looking to build in this. In this community is just. It’s. It’s almost disheartening in a sense that like, now I’m like, okay, let me step in. Let’s make this happen for the community, right? And let’s Trevon try to figure out a way to really bring resources to the community, build it up, starting, you know, kind of on the forefront, really push to make this happen. And then in 5-10 years, hopefully, you know, the industry and the community is starting to get all the benefits that they should have been received. But Yeah, it’s, it’s. I’m kind of getting a little energetic talking about it a lot to me. right. Because we’ve been through a lot of. A lot of no’s and we’ve been through a lot of different things. And it’s just like you know, the community has always been accepting of what we’ve been building. You know, I went to deaf nation and they welcomed me with open arms, right? Like this hearing guys is creating this, right? And it’s just warm all around. And even hearing them talk about, you know, keep going, they were telling me, you know, a lot of people don’t make it through. there’s not a lot of people that make it through. It’s very tough to create something for our community. And I love hard, right. I never. I never take the easy route. So yeah, I think that’s kind of. That’s where it all related to. It was just me, our company being overlooked and having limited resources and also this community being overlooked with limited resources. I felt it, and I kind of felt it. It was my duty, or it is my duty, right, to kind of be a forefront and really be a leader in this space of innovation and just building tech that matters. Right. And I think Safeway is going to be a great first piece to kind of building tech that truly matters in the world. Right. So that’s kind of. Yeah. why it. Why it matters and where my. Very cool. I appreciate that. That’s that’s. It makes a lot of sense. So I guess my question, I have two questions. One is I want to get into these experiences that you’ve had, like where you went to Deaf Nation and some of the feedback that you’ve had. So let’s start there. before I get into a loaded question here Tell me about some of these experiences you’ve had with your target audience and some of those of seminal moments of where you’re like, I’m on to something here. Yeah. so, like I said, you know, I built this thinking, like, dude, this is going to be amazing for the fire alarm. Like, we’re going to save lives. you know, but after you start talking to people, you really realize what matter to them. Like, what really matters to them, what’s important on a day to day basis. And you know, like, I was talking to Matt, and Matt was telling me, like, man, I don’t like looking at my phone all the time, but if I had something that would tell me when I had calls coming up or if I got an email that’s important to me because it’s about the money, right? we had something that would vibrate to notify me. I could disconnect from the world easier, but still be connected in a way that I need to be connected. Right? So that’s one case. But then you get another lady who’s down in Jacksonville where she’s a single woman, and she’s saying, okay, I’m a single lady that’s Deaf. I’m already kind of paranoid now. I got a ring camera and stuff, but once again, yeah, I got a ring camera, but how am I being alerted if something does happen? Right? It’s through a cell phone. So a lot of people are sleeping with the phones underneath the pillow, or they’re sleeping with their phone in their pocket or things like that. And it’s just like, this is insane. Then, as I mentioned, you got other people who you know, have, have, who are caregivers that just have people that roam around the house. me personally, my aunt, she is turning 74 this year. No, 84 this year. Oh, my goodness. so she’s turning 84 this year. But the point to say, basically, is that I’m able to walk into her condo and I can get all the way. She lives in a ranch. I can get all the way to her kitchen and sit there and watch her watch tv without noticing I’m inside of her house. And to me that’s like, whoa. Right? Like, that’s crazy. What if it wasn’t me? Right? so just things like that just the feedback from the community has been, it’s been amazing. One of the biggest, and I say the biggest feedback, though so far was the baby monitors, right? they are like, that’s probably been our warmest, our warmest lane I’m not too shocked, honestly, because the owlet. So, as I mentioned, the outlet previously the outlet’s a baby monitor that you can put a sock on it on a child, and it monitors their heartbeat, oxygen level, things like that. So if you think about NICU children. Right, nicu babies you know, it’s. It’s parents become. And I understand why. It’s a paranoia thing. It’s the back of your mind where you’re not paying attention, but the back of the mind strain, that’s a real thing. so I think we’ll be able to draw, just bring in, hopefully some more peace of mind, whether it’s Deaf parents or just parents in general that have NICU children or just babies in general, the fact that this wristband will be able to connect to a baby monitor while the parent maybe disconnects for some time. That’s a big use case. Yeah, very important use case for parents. Exactly. Even for me. Right. So it’s like my son, he’s one now, but even when I lay him down, I have the camera going and it’s motion and it’s sound detected. So once again, I could put my phone down and I can cut the grass, I can do dishes, I can play the video game if I want. Right. Or whatever. Right. Whatever. Wherever I need as a parent to disconnect, I still be connected. Right. so that’s alerts that really matter. Yeah, exactly. And that’s the biggest thing, I feel like that’s one of our warmest avenues is the big monitor. So that sort of actually segues into the other question I had, which is, how did this start to where you were able to start API feeding these different systems into your app? What was that? Like, where, okay, like, we now have the owlet and now this device is compatible with, like, what is that process? Like, that has to be pretty cool when that all finally gets done and it’s probably pretty difficult to get there. Yeah, it was all at once, actually. So we didn’t have to, we didn’t have to physically go in and add every API. Right? We don’t run off APIs at all. Okay. I don’t, I don’t need permission or access to anything. our band works with literally every mobile app, and it’s because how we developed it, because it’s just basically pulling. The notification and then converting that notification or something like that. Yeah. So it sits in the background. Right. So our app sits in the background. It’s able to pick up certain notifications. If you have that notification basically turned on on the platform. So in your app, if you have it, you know, toggled on it basically is scanning for that notification. And when it comes through, it vibrates how you want it to vibrate, right? Yeah. So, cool. Okay. Yeah. It’s crazy, though, because that was, we had a very, very that question you just asked was that was almost a sole. So. Cause one time of us actually shutting this down because we didn’t know how we were gonna do it. Mm and we also knew how limited it was if we only got, let’s say, three security systems. Right. It takes our, our market from the world to whoever is a part of these. Like, you have to be these customers to use it. The fact that you don’t have to be a customer, you can be a customer of anybody, right? Makes this beautiful. But at one point you know, I had, we had our developer building, and this was before we had the promivo partnerships. This was just him building. we got to the point where, like, man, we cannot get the app. No matter what we do, we cannot get the app to pick this up. Like, the app is not picking up other notifications. What do we do? So When I started in tech, back in, like, 2017, I drove up to New York and met a developer up there that we met on Facebook. His name was Sam. I’m saying that because when we got stuck in, like, 2020, I messaged Sam, like, Sam, man you know, we’re building this product safe wave, and, you know, we’re stuck. We don’t know how to do this, man. Like, what’s going on? He’s like, you know, this is tough. Give me a. Give me a little bit. Let’s see if we can figure it out. He sent me a link, like, two, 3 hours later, he said, send this to your developer. He sent it to my, copy the link, and I sent it to my developer. I kid you not. Like, an hour or two later, he literally, he text me, said, I got it. That’s nice. I got it. And I was just, I remember at that point, we were just like, we were static because we were trying to fix this for, like, two, two to four weeks, and we weren’t getting anywhere. Like, yeah, brick wall after brick wall. And I’m like, dude, this is, it’s literally how our system operates. Like, we can’t monitor anything. This is pointless. It doesn’t work. Like, this will be the sole cause of things not happening. and my boy Sam came in and dropped the link on us and it was an apple link too. It was an apple link. he got off the website, dropped it in there and it’s been working since. And it’s crazy because we actually hired Sam on a short project to bring this to market just last month. So we kind of helped with like a quick spot. Full circle. Full circle. Right. So it’s like money got back in his pocket, so we’re good. That’s awesome. But it’s bigger than that though. It was just awesome that he was able to just step in and really solve a problem for us. And like you said, full circle. He’s still solving problems for us. Man. It’s crazy. That’s really cool. because I was curious like how it actually is working. And so that makes a lot of sense you know, in terms of how the actual system itself is pulling in the notifications, converting them into haptics. but I mean, I do think that there’s clearly a lot here. I mean you’re basically converting somebody’s world into vibrations that can then become learned, right? And I think that’s really powerful is like over the course of time you just start to kind of like anything, you know, you just sort of get that pattern recognition of three taps or two long taps or however it works where you start conditioning yourself to say this means that, this means that. And then it becomes second nature. And, and that’s where it really does almost feel like it’s like this additional sense. That’s, it’s crazy. Mention that because there’s so many pieces that you think about when building a wearable and also a platform, right? Like building that app is hard, but also a wearable that has to, it’s just all around hard. But that’s something that we were thinking. It’s like, man, okay, so if I’m sleeping and it wakes me up out of my sleep, am I gonna know how many times it vibrated? But at the same time, that first vibration that wakes you up, you already accounted for it in the back of your mind. So it’s like you’re counting without counting. Right. It’s the weirdest. Humans are amazing. Let’s just put it like that. The brain’s amazing. the more you use it, the better you get with the frequencies. It’s insane. Yeah. Neuroplasticity. There you go. Look Okay, so what’s ahead for you? You said that it’s launching soon. you’ve got, obviously you’ve got some really good feedback from some early users. what is the rest of 2024 look like for you? Yeah, man. So we’re going to market May 6, as I mentioned. So about a month and a couple of days. but really from there, it’s just, I think, I feel like we’re going to be just traveling a lot just trying to get this thing out there, man. Making people aware building the, of community, relying on the community and just, just doing that. I really think that our goal this year is to build it to the point where we can start building out our next generations, our future generations. and I think we can achieve that. I really think we can achieve that in the community. So yeah, this year, hopefully we can build our team up. We’re at four people right now. hopefully we could build it to eight people. That would be awesome. we just grabbed we just grabbed the office space, actually. We signed the lease like not even a week ago. So we got a space now everybody can come and kind of work together. Right. A home base, get us out the basement. kind of the big boy league. but yeah, man, just, just really launch, keeping the, keeping the momentum going. I think that’s going to be the biggest thing with us. Just, you know, making sure that we’re staying involved in the community, keeping the message out there, showing people what this can really do, and ultimately highlighting the use cases, man. I think, you know, I can mention eight to ten use cases right now and I just feel like there’s gonna be hundreds pouring in throughout the year. Right. So that’s what I’m really looking forward to, is just listening to the community and hopefully being able to deliver on what they’re asking and their expectations. That’s really, that’s really what I’m looking forward to. That’s awesome. I’m looking forward to, you know, seeing how you do. you know, I hope that this is something that obviously you’ll be going direct to the end user, but for the hearing professionals that are listening to this, I mean, do you have plans of having a wholesale model where it can flow through clinicians and that as well in a more reseller model? Yeah, absolutely. so we got a couple, right? So I mean, obviously our influencers, they’re on an affiliate program, so we do have affiliate programs, but the b2b space, so bulk buying we’re extremely interested in that as well. So we have been by a couple people. and we’re excited to grow that list. Right. so even on that side, the, whether we’re not the end user or not you know, we’re totally open and interested in just the b to b to C model as well. our goal, like I said, is just get this out here. however we can get it out as quick as we can get it out. let’s just get units out, because the more it’s out there, I think the better we can build and the better we can adjust to even make it, make it even better. Right. So, yeah, no, when it comes to just other partners, things like that, we’re open to anything. as I mentioned, even, even warehouses you know, these, these warehouses reaching out they’re the end user at the end of the day, but at the same time, it’s still a manufacturing space, right. It’s still a different type of, it’s still bulk buying. these manufacturing facilities that come to us, they’re not grabbing a unit. Right. They’re grabbing 15 to 20 plus, right? right. And then, of course, you got b, to b channels coming, 100, 200 plus units, right? So, no, that’s. We’ve entertained it all. We’re on every, every side. Just, just seeing how we can get them out there. That’s awesome. Well, for anybody that’s listening, that wants to connect with you, what’s the best way to do so? Oh, yeah, for sure. You can just, I mean, look me up on LinkedIn. Just Trevon, Bruch. Or my email as well. Just trevon. [email protected]. And then to learn more about safewave in general, it’s just www. Safe And then on all of our social media at Safeway tech. Awesome. Very cool, Trevan. I’m looking forward to seeing how you all do. I mean, it really is a very cool concept. Like I said at the very beginning, it’s modernizing something that I think has been very valuable for a portion of the population that’s been underserved and underlooked for a long time. And so to now see this sort of 2024 modernized version of this ecosystem and how it can be compatible with the Internet of things and just this hyper connected world that we live in is actually really exciting. I mean, I’m thinking about not just those sort of everyday applications, but really, those b, two b applications could get very, very interesting once people start to look at this as something that can really be tailored to their own individual work environments the, you know, the, you have a lot of, I think, opportunity here. You know, you’re just scratching the surface with it. And it’s interesting, too, because it’s like, it’s warm, is what. Like their warm leads coming in. So it’s the strangest thing. Like, I’m not having to go and search for the opportunity. It’s like it’s coming on our doorstep, which is kind of just weird. It’s like the b two b, like you were mentioning, is like they approached us via email and said that they’ve had employees missing this. And, you know, we’ve had employees up in Rochester that work retail that told us, like, we’re not even going to get corporate involved yet. our employees want to try it first, and if we like it, then we’ll go to corporate. Right. So it’s like, that’s when it’s still you still realize that even the b two b is still personal because these are real people that are really going to benefit. Right. This isn’t just. Yeah, it’s good for the business, but it’s. These end users are really. They’re really valuable, and they mean a lot to the corporation, obviously. So. And it’s in really. It’s not a tall order, per se, you know, again, that it’s compatible with an Apple Watch. So you’re talking about, you know, buying a upgraded, you know, multifunctional band. so I think that it’s palatable. Right. I don’t think that you’re trying to usher in a lifestyle change that’s going to be There’s a cost associated with it, if you know what I mean. You know? So I think that that really bodes well for this is too. Is that it’s. It’s not a high bar of entry, I guess, if. If that’s an elegant way of saying it. Yeah. Not a lot of different. Yeah. It’s easy. Easy to use plug and play, almost, right. It’s to bring this into a business or our manufacturer is like, download an app and add this to your desktop. That’s it. It takes three steps to go and set this up. Right. It’s very simple, very cool. Well, thank you so much for coming on today and sharing your story. I find it very interesting, and I’m excited to see how this all progresses. Absolutely. I definitely appreciate it, man. I’m gonna have to get a band sent out to you. Please do. I’ll be. I’ll be more than happy to wear it around at the trade shows and show it off. so I’m looking forward to that. But thank you for coming on, and thanks for everybody who tuned in here to the end. We will chat with you next time. Cheers. It.

Be sure to subscribe to the TWIH YouTube channel for the latest episodes each week, and follow This Week in Hearing on LinkedIn and on X (formerly Twitter).

Prefer to listen on the go? Tune into the TWIH Podcast on your favorite podcast streaming service, including AppleSpotify, Google and more.

About the Panel

Trevon Bruch is the founder of Safewave, a northern Kentucky-based startup specializing in wearable technology. With a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky, Trevon’s mission is to create accessible solutions. Safewave’s flagship product is a Bluetooth-enabled wristband that converts mobile alerts into discreet vibrations, aimed at improving the safety, security, and quality of life for the Deaf and hard of hearing community.

Dave Kemp is the Director of Business Development & Marketing at Oaktree Products and the Founder & Editor of Future Ear. In 2017, Dave launched his blog,, where he writes about what’s happening at the intersection of voice technology, wearables and hearing healthcare. In 2019, Dave started the Future Ear Radio podcast, where he and his guests discuss emerging technology pertaining to hearing aids and consumer hearables. He has been published in the Harvard Business Review, co-authored the book, “Voice Technology in Healthcare,” writes frequently for the prominent voice technology website,, and has been featured on NPR’s Marketplace.


Leave a Reply