Hearings aids have always made the user feel conscious and many will try to hide the fact that they are wearing one. The device that is meant to empower them and help with their hearing is actually doing the opposite by making them feel like they have something to be embarrassed about. Alice Turner decided to design Amplify, a hearing device that was made to be seen, to feel confident about and to help people experience life to its full potential!
Amplify was created to give the hearing-impaired demographic an added value that made the hearing aid more than just a medical accessory. “In the ’60s, glasses were aids for a disability. Now, glasses have evolved into ‘eyewear’, a fashion statement, and an extension of your personality. This shift made me question why the main innovation in hearing aid design is developing technology to make them smaller and more hidden,” says the designer on her thought process behind starting the project. Using bone conduction technology, Amplify provides users with high-quality audio for a more comfortable and wholesome sound experience. This technology enables the device to decode sound waves and convert them into vibrations that can be received directly by the Cochlea so the eardrum is never involved. Amplify essentially becomes your eardrum!
It is still just a concept design so there is a lot of work ahead when it comes to prototype research and testing, but it has definitely sparked a conversation about making wearable medical accessories more aesthetic to boost user experience and confidence. Most of the devices are pretty basic in their function and because we live in a smart world, it is important for devices to be integrated, therefore, Amplify features Bluetooth connectivity which helps the user to control smart speakers, smart TVs, phones, and car audio devices. The sleek minimal form makes me feel like I would rather wear this than my AirPods!
Designer: Alice Tuner