Tired of the same old, boring hearing aid? Over-ear pieces getting in the way of your glasses or sense of style? Design Affairs has come up with a hearing aid molded to look like the ear tunnels that are growing in popularity again.
Today, tunnels and plugs are considered to be a statement of self expression, though the piercings have held different significances throughout history. The size of the tunnels are not mentioned, however they look to be quite large, so even those who already have tunnels or plugs may need to do some stretching in order to wear the hearing aid version.
The microphone, usually placed in an in-ear mold or looped around the back of the ear, is instead placed inside a piece of body jewelry. A small, clear receiver is placed inside the ear, similar to the one found in a standard hearing aid.
The design also promises to work better than a regular hearing aid since its placement on the ear provides optimal horizontal positioning for the microphone. The Deafinite Style hearing aid is designed for individuals with a medium level of hearing loss; for those with a severe loss, a “plug” can be added to increase power and amplification.
I was personally very excited about this idea because of my daily interaction with Deaf and hard-of-hearing people at my job as an American Sign Language interpreter. I work mostly with college students and know many Deaf people who take pride in their hearing aids, some even get their ear pieces modeled in school colors. The ability to express a sense of style and their cultural pride at the same time would be a great and very much appreciated opportunity. While this product isn’t available yet, there is definitely a market if it’s launched. The description on the site says it all: “rising self-confidence is taking hearing aids to another level”.