Although hearing aids can significantly improve communication, less than 20% of hearing impaired people globally actually use them. And more than 35% of purchased aids end up being returned or not used because the social functionality of the hearing instrument doesn’t offer full recovery.
The Oticon Streamer is an important piece in this puzzle that gives the hearing impaired full recovery from their disability. The device makes it possible for people with hearing loss to attain the same possibilities as people with normal hearing in terms of using new social technology. They can listen to music devices, answer their cell phones hands-free, and hook up to the TV, radio, and computers by wireless connection.
“The Oticon Streamer is an important piece in the long-term strategy of making hearing instruments as accepted in society as wearing glasses,” exaplained the team. “We wanted to design devices for the hearing impaired that would posses an extra quality by giving it a distinct simple and clean look that signals ‘cool gadget’ and not handicap device.”
The philosophy of the designers is to make the handicap invisible by making the device appear as one of the normal electronics consumer products we see every day, like for example: phone headsets. They believe that in the longer term, these small design statements will help people overcome the stigma of having a hearing loss.
DesignAgenda ApS - Denmark