Hey, I’m Nick and I’m building my own pair of custom hearing-enhancing wearables in my bedroom and this last prototype that we made did not really work. I think is not very stable, it’s kind of leaning too far forward and just wasn’t very secure at all. But the inspiration actually came from an actual hearing aid.
Now, when you put a hearing aid on, you have one bit which goes behind the ear and the other bit which goes inside. And it actually means that the middle bit that goes in front of the ear is quite secure. I think this is actually the shape that we want to try to mimic. At least the middle part. We don’t like how hearing aids look, so we don’t really want to mimic the shape of the whole thing.
I bought some modelling materials from an arts and craft store, things like wire, foam, modelling clay, stuff like that. Things which I can shape by hand into prototype models that are ear-friendly shapes. I made this little wire skeleton and put a little ear tip on the end and when you put it on, it’s actually pretty secure. So the bit behind the ear, the bit inside the ear, I think it’s this middle part where we can actually attach the main body of the device. So I’m going to get some foam and see if we can just attach something to the wire.
Here’s version 2.0 of my hearing-enhancing wearable prototype. So they’re super easy to put on, they’re really secure and they don’t block my ear canal. They are purposely visible, but they are not any more intrusive than wearing glasses frames and speaking which, glasses can be worn with them, which was a problem with the previous design.
I think it’s always been a problem with hearing aids because that’s where the main hearing aid is. So, I mean, I didn’t wear glasses, but this could be useful for some people. And I mean, the design is far from finished and the colour is a little bit loud. But the design is pretty unique and I think it kind of works.
I’ve not seen any earbuds like this before and I mean, I’ve definitely not seen any hearing aids like this before, so while it definitely needs a bit more work, I think we might be on to something.
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