Hi, I’m Nick and I’m designing my own pair of custom hearing-enhancing wearables this time, not in my bedroom because I want to do some user testing today. I had this idea in my head for so long that I can wear some purposely visible hearing wearable in public in the exact same way that we were purposely visible seeing wearables and everyone’s completely cool with that.
But before we dive further into designing and then into electronics, I need to task to whether or not this is actually a realistic idea. So I’ve got my 3d printed plastic prototypes on, and I’m going to go talk to some random people. And I’m going to try to understand what their first impressions are.
So a lot of people thought that I’m wearing earbuds and I mean, I don’t want them to think that I’m listening to music and not listening to them. So I’m trying to work out what specifically about them makes it look like earbuds?
Is it the fact that they’re black? Is that the fact that there’s just more tube going into my ear? I wonder if there’s something that we can change that will change how people see them. So we printed a new one with a different coloured bit going into the air. Now, I wonder if that makes it look less like there’s something blocking my ear canal, like habits that make it look like I’m less engaged in conversation while I’m wearing them.
That was really interesting. I spoke to a lot of people and most people think that they're earbuds, which is better than hearing aids, but it’s not perfect because I don’t want to disguise them as something that they are not. Ideally, I want people to be able to look at them and not really know what they are.
That way we can create a new product category for hearwear that’s not earbuds and not hearing aids, but something new altogether. So the design still needs some work, but I think we’re going in the right direction.