“Bone” is a low cost, discreet, headphone which emits vibrations through the skull (instead of the ears) to play music. This allows hearing-impaired individuals to enjoy listening to music.
Over 466 million people in the world suffer from disabling hearing loss (with that number estimated to grow to 900 million by 2050). Furthermore, 60% of childhood hearing loss cases are due to preventable causes. This begs the question – why are we not neutralizing this problem early on? Moreover, how can those who suffer from hearing loss share similar experiences to what non-deaf individuals experience (without an obvious accessory such as a hearing aid)? This is where “Bone” can help.
The world we now live in often tries to segregate people with disabilities and differences such as hearing-impairment. We should be creating inclusive products, not divisive ones. It was astonishing to discover the sheer quantity of how many people can no longer listen to music due to deafness. The technology to enable this is out there, it has just never been marketed towards the appropriate audience. The design of these products should look no different than a typical consumer product. This is why “Bone” is such a huge leap for the progression of humanity.
After learning a few friends in the US and UK military had lost their hearing due to loud noises, it was heart-breaking. They loved listening to music and now they have had that privilege stripped from them. That is when something clicked – too many people are unable to continue the same quality of life they had prior to hearing-loss.
There are 2 types of conductive hearing loss – mid ear and outer ear. Fortunately, the inner ear works fine but sound from the outside world has difficulty entering. Therefore, bone conduction technology allows sound to send vibrations through the skull so sound can directly travel to the inner ear – bypassing the need to travel via the outer and mid ear.
“Bone” is extremely intuitive and can be used by anyone. It works in a similar way to standard wireless headphones and includes the following features:
- Connect to devices via Bluetooth.
- Touch sensitive playback controls.
- Wireless charging.
The main difference is that it sits behind the ear rather than on it. This means that the actual product itself is completely hidden from the front view. From the side, it looks like a standard thin hairband (which can be covered by hair.) This means it would not look out of place when used.
This simple device has the potential to change millions of lives at a tiny production price of £10. Disabled individuals do not want products that make them stand out, they want to be treated in the same way as other people – they need a product which functions for their needs, but is designed to be integrated into their style.
The device itself is partly made from recycled plastic bottles. This is to help combat the ever-rising issue of environmental deterioration.
Hans Ramzan, the designer tells us, “I am not interested in profit at all – a price cannot be put on the welfare and advancement of human civilisation. Problems will always be present in the world, but my dream is to live in a world where issues in the disabled community are considered as much as issues in a “normal” community. I hope to take this product into production as soon as possible. The sooner we can help people with hearing-loss feel more included in society, the greater the step for humanity.”
Tuvie has received “Bone Headphones for Deaf People” project from our ‘Submit A Design‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their design/concept for publication.