We've all been there. You're standing around, trying to have a conversation -- meaningful or otherwise -- but that wretched, raucous noise means all you can do is cock your head and mouth "I can't hear you!" to your friend. San Francisco-based startup Soundhawk doesn't want that to ever happen again. The team can't boost your hearing to Superman-esque levels, but with a new $299 gadget they can at least augment your ears when you need it the most.
It all starts with what CEO Mike Kisch calls the Scoop, an unassuming little earpiece that doesn't look entirely unlike a Bluetooth headsets Bose puts out. It's laden with microphones and silicon which allows it to capture sound, chew on it, and feed you that processed audio in real time with a little help from a connected smartphone.