‘Designer’ Hearing Aids

The largest charitable organization for deaf in the United Kingdom together with a design magazine launched an exhibition of fantastic hearing aids aimed at their promotion.

The hearing aids exhibition is called ‘Hearwear’ and was opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

A wide range of designs was on display, ranging from fashionable devices to improve hearing to items which can simply control sound quality. The examples of the items displayed are as follows: a remote control to eliminate irritating sounds, a device to enable people to have a clear conversation in a noisy bar, and Hearing Aids designed as fashionable jewellery or must-have gadgets.

Another concept, known as the Goldfish, instantly replays the previous 10 seconds of sound to the wearer in case they have failed to catch someone’s name. It is based on the conception that goldfish only have 10 seconds of memory.

The main idea of the show is to persuade people that hearing aids are not a defect but can also be a stylish and appealing item as spectacles have recently become.

The exhibition was organized by mutual efforts of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), design magazine, Blueprint, and creative agency Wolff Olins.

The RNID professionals are sure that the number of people who suffer from hearing defects will increase as noise pollution becomes more intense.

According to John Low, RNID chief executive, “This is likely to become one of the biggest health and social issues of our time. Millions of people who could benefit from wearing a hearing aid or hearing protection are reluctant to do so.”

The charitable organization is striving to change people’s idea of hearing products, “There has been an incredible revolution is the design of glasses, why not in hearing aids.”

Although the European market for Hearing Aids is worth £2.9bn, still millions of people do not use these devices being ashamed of their disability. However, it is ridiculous to deprive ourselves of incredible opportunity to enjoy the sounds of the surrounding world just because the society has thought hearing loss to be a serious defect. Everything changes, as well as people’s attitude to things. At the present time, the growing minority believes that it is better to use a tiny descreet hearing aid item than to retire a few years earlier.

“Hearwear” asked the designers to use their creativity to help break out of this pattern and create stylish and useful products that people might actually want to wear.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Justin said,

    What IS that BTE-looking HA with the black cord/earbuds that the mum is wearing?? Is it so she can hear what the kid is hearing, somehow?

  2. 2

    Hearing Aid is a very complicated device. It costs a lot and it is usually designed for specific needs. Nowadays hearing aid devices are very small and almost invisible, so people with hearing problems can feel comfortable in society and nobody can notice their problem. Some companies even create unique design that can be used like accessories.

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