(H)ear piercing

designaffairs_hearing_aid_01.jpg

These are concept shots of a hearing aid based out of a gauged ear piercing plug. From Core77:

The Deafinite Style is a concept from Munich-based Designaffairs STUDIO that turns a hearing aid into a piece of jewelry, provided you’re up for a bit of lobe stretching to get started. The main advantage they propose (aside from an instant hipster-grunge-punk look) is the opportunity to embed the TriMic System — a highly effective directional microphone system made from 3 individual microphones — into the plug, helping people who suffer from severe hearing loss.

What do you think? Is this a practical solution for aging lobe-stretchers? One more image after the jump.

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10 thoughts on “(H)ear piercing

  1. Leaving the other practical considerations aside for a moment, I’m wondering if the earlobe movement might not make the best foundation for a directional array.

    Depending on how directionalized the sound driver is, I would think it annoying/disorienting to have the microphone direction flopping up and down as you walked.

    The social aspects of the idea are more fascinating. While I’m not sold on this particular form factor (ow!), maybe it’s time for some enterprising maker to sculpt designer hearing aids that are totally bad ass and cool, rather than institutional pink plastic.

    1. I’ve never had plugs /that/ big, but when I had smaller ones, they didn’t seem to flop around when I walked. Has that been your experience? Anybody with big plugs care to chime in?

    2. I do have stretched earlobes, and assuming that these are around 1″ in diameter, which they appear be, they would be the same size as the plugs I wear on a daily basis. There is NO flopping around when I walk unless I am wearing dangling pieces.
      Considering that the cartilage of your ear is what bounces sound into your ear canal, I think that the “directional array” could be useful in the placement of the receivers. Your ears are what pick up sound in the first place! Regardless of which way your head is pointed we still hear and are able to discern between sounds near and far. I think these could work like that.

      Some people who have no hearing feel that they have no control over their ears, and modifying (stretching) them is a way for them to love something about themselves they wouldn’t otherwise.
      I think these could be a wonderful invention. Although, admittedly, I don’t see a very large market for them.

  2. Well, I would certainly be more likely to wear these with the hearing aid feature than otherwise. Although, I hate the logo. I’m not much for wearing jewelry of any kind, but if these were comfortable, I might be inclined.

  3. As a hearing aid wearer (with, as yet, unstretched piercings!) I would be interested in pursuing these concepts. I wonder if directionality might be better achieved by placing the three mics more evenly around the outer ear – perhaps as piercings at top, bottom and distal edges?

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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