What do you get when you combine increased use of alternative jewelery (read: ear plugs) with a generation with ears blown out from concerts and heavy iPod listening? As it happens, you get some interesting solutions.
To meet the needs of consumers that are soon to encounter hearing problems, Designaffairs came up with the (h)earing aid, a concept product with ‘deafinite style’ which can be worn as a plug but utilizes “the brand new TriMic system” to augment hearing. Various skins allow the disabled wearer to maintain a sense of style, and an optional Power Plug filler increases amplification for those with severe hearing damage. As the creators put it:
“Rising self-confidence is taking prostheses to another level. People don’t try to hide their handicap anymore. Show what you’ve got, don’t make a fuzz about your problem. Wear your hearing aid like a piece of jewelery, a stylish accessory. Be individual, be cool, be yourself.”
In an age where function, design, style and technology are expected to create synergy and high-tech solutions can turn disabled people into superhuman performers, the (h)earing aid foots the bill. Plus, if aged Baby Boomers refuse to ditch their Harleys, elderly Millennials shall surely keep their plugs and iPods. Forward-looking designers have to get creative and cater to these needs.