A Nantwich businessman’s clever app for deaf people is proving a massive hit, with thousands of downloads across the globe.
Steven Mifsud, who was born deaf, developed the app as he became frustrated with the lack of innovation to help people like him.
Steven, who runs Direct Access disability consultancy at Regents Park, created an alarm app for iPhones which flashes the phone screen, camera an vibrates at the same time.
Within days of launching, more than 150,000 people viewed his Facebook page, and thousands downloaded it from the UK, USA, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Canada, Norway, Switzerland and even Mexico.
Steven said: “As someone born profoundly deaf and then a recent cochlear implant user in 2012, I have always been incredibly frustrated by the lack of innovation for deaf people.
“Over the years I never understood why developers were not utilising and developing apps for the iPhone that could substantially help people with a hearing impairment.”
The idea came to him as he travelled up and down the country with his job, staying in hotels.
“One morning my existing alarm which vibrates failed to wake me up and I subsequently ended up being late for a meeting.
“This caused extreme embarrassment having to tell a client why I was late for a meeting.
“It was so degrading.
“I just thought there must be something better than just putting an iPhone under a pillow, or using an ugly vibrating alarm clock!
“I had a flashbulb idea of an alarm which would make your iPhone flash the camera, flash the screen, be loud and vibrate at the same time (or any combination).
“I looked on the AppStore and surprisingly could not find anything that does this. I was also a bit annoyed to be fair.
“Six months ago I decided to try and create this app for my own purpose.”
Steven teamed up with a young app developer in Holland and the app became a reality.
“When I decided to upload it to the AppStore I was expecting just a couple of downloads mainly from other deaf friends say 5 or so.
“I am bewildered at how the app has been received, I never expected this.
“I’m also very touched I may be helping people out there who have a hearing impairment’s life that little bit easier.”
And with more than 350 million deaf people worldwide, the signs are good for Steven’s app.
“I don’t know what the future holds.
“I’m extremely happy living with my family in Nantwich, which is a gorgeous town.
“I also love my current job running Direct Access as its so rewarding helping disabled people.
“Perhaps Silicon Valley will come calling but I doubt it! I’m just happy to have created something that may help a lot of deaf people.”
For more details on the app, visit the Deaf Wake website