My Ears – Hearing aid that is as simple as your ear covers
Most of the times elderly suffer from loss of hearing in one or both of the ears which can hamper considerable number of normal activities that they can perform. Surely there are many complex hearing aids that promise a lot, but they are expensive too. Seeing this Chubu Design Research Center has come up with hearing aid made from urethane foam that is quite easy to use and simple in design.
They call it as My Ears, and this ordinary looking ear cover weighing 13 grams uses intuitive sound phenomenon known as resonance to enhance the sound coming to into the ears This means that there is no need for complex hearing technology to enhance the sound, rather it uses knowledge of acoustics to direct the incoming sound into the ear drums.
The accessory enhances incoming sound with frequency of 1,800 to 2,000 Hz which is fully audible to elderly people. This fact is proven as the acoustic analysis conducted at Nagoya Institute of Technology for this device proved that the sound coming from the front increased by 14dB and all other directions by 11 dB. That is quite impressive considering the accessory uses no mechanical or electronic part.
Chubu Design Research Center put significant time in research for this device and found out that the ability of human ear begins to deteriorate for high frequency range of 2,000Hz or higher at the age of 60 years. Therefore they developed this device keeping in mind every aspect of elderly people.
According to one user of My Ears, it made possible watching TV at the same volume along with other family members without any problem. The device was tested on 10 subjects over a period of one month and it was found out that there was improved language understanding in all of them. The hearing aid looks quite promising and it remains to be seen as to when the hearing aid will be available for commercial use.