In the past, the handicaps of people were generally politely concealed and sometimes considered embarrassing. It makes me very happy that this is changing. Now there are people like Aimee Mullins in the spotlight. For those not familiar, Aimee Mullins lost her legs at birth due to fibular hemimelia. I highly recommend watching her TED talk. Rather than let this hold her back, she has gone on to become an athlete, actress, and model who speaks all over the world about her dozen legs that have been built for her. Her legs are amazing; ranging from custom designed pieces of art, like the wooden legs carved from solid ash, to high tech legs that help her run faster than your average human. Technology has advanced to the point where what was once considered a disability is now merely an opportunity for an improvement both in function and form.
The latest concept in this realm of body advancement are the deafinite conceptual hearing aids. As someone with ears that are already stretched to 1/2″, these things instantly caught my attention. The concept hearing aids basically combine the form and fashion of large gauge ear plugs with the technology of hearing aids which has gotten infinitely smaller over the years. Embedded in the plugs are several microphones that pick up sound, amplify it and deliver it to the wearer through a small earpiece. The result? a fashionable hearing aid that people (who are willing to stretch their ears) can show off.
But the idea of this as just a hearing aid is short-sighted. It’s not a far leap to take this concept and make actual headphones out of this. My 1/2″ plugs are great at ensuring I don’t misplace my pen or sharpie marker, but they would be incredible if they could also function as headphones I never leave in the pocket of… which pair of pants did I wear last Tuesday? Dear tech producers: please make these. You’ll have a small niche market, but that niche will be incredibly happy and I would be willing to pay a small premium for these.
images via designaffairs