Alex Selig was in preschool in Mill Valley when his teacher put him in tears reading him the riot act. She thought he was purposely misconstruing the message in a game of telephone, in which children in the class were instructed to pass a message one to the other with whispers in the ear.
As it turned out, Selig had major hearing loss, possibly as a result of infections when he was younger.
Over the coming years, Selig, who wears hearing aids in both ears, spent a lot of time with audiologists, and he developed a fascination with audio physics and technology.
That subsequently led him to start SoundFocus, a San Francisco tech startup that has built both a mobile app and a smartphone speaker case called "Amp" that it says dramatically improves what people hear, adjusted to individual users' hearing capabilities and tastes and also the surrounding environment.
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