Month: March 2014



Apple revolutionised life for people deaf/ hard of hearing. When FaceTime on iPhones became available the company saw a sharp uptake in the use amongst deaf customers, who used the new function to make calls in sign language.

What product/ service will be next?



LG Smart Lightbulb

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A South Korean company has designed “Smart Bulb”, an LED bulb with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Long lasting, and energy saving are not the only qualities this bulb has. Smart Bulb can link with an Android or iOS device to remotely control brightness, or blinks when users receive a phone call.

Kevin Taylor, a product specialist for Action on Hearing Loss says this product will be especially beneficial for 1 in 6 of us who have some degree of hearing loss.

If this light bulb extended its features to responding to text messages or emails alerts, or even the doorbell it has potential to revolutionise the daily lives of people who are deaf/ hard of hearing.

The Smart Bulb will be released in Korea shortly for 35,000 won (£19) each. Affordably priced!


Medical Bracelets

Remember these?

nut allergy bracelet

Today we can see a change, a moving forward in all areas of design. Technology as it develops allows for better communication, better response and in this case better medical designs.

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This wearable band and patch has been designed for epileptic patients for everyday use. The mini sensors, in the form of a discreet patch is worn on the body or attached to the wristband. This patch wirelessly pairs with the user’s smartphone and notifies when medication should be taken. The sensors can even alert the onset of a seizure.

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This Epilepsy band clearly articulates how design has been improving over the past few years. Today, technology can be used to enhance a persons life, bringing comfort and ease.

As a designer, my own personal aim is to design to bring better quality of life to an individual.



iHear you but I’m not convinced.

As a designer in this field, I make many observations while watching promotional videos.

I look at the content, the language being used to tell the story of the product, and the potential target market.

This particular video, I assume is aimed at the customer/ consumer. It is being used to promote and sell this new hearing aid device. There are many convincing qualities to this device; adjustable, waterproof, and the ability to link with a computer. However, how they have chosen to present this device, is at times unappealing to watch.

Unfortunately according to the world health organisation over 350 million people suffer from disabling hearing loss.”

Many deaf/ hard of hearing would not express their hearing loss as disabling, nor are they suffering. The language they have chosen to use is generally quite negative, patronising and potentially offensive.

The best way to promote a product is through positivity. What are the benefits of the product? How does it change a customer experience? What service is being offered and in what way?


Wearing your watch on your ear

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HeadWatch is a smartwatch- a touchscreen watch that comes away from the strap and worn on your head. Wearers are alerted with smartwatch notifications, and can use the watch in their ears to take phone calls.


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An earpiece on the back of the screen is used like a Bluetooth headset to take calls.

The HeadWatch designers sought to improve the user experience of headsets, such as Bluetooth connectors. Taking a different angle they produced this smartwatch to prevent the device from getting lost- and so it has a dedicated holder.


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Even though this smart watch rolls two pieces of gear into one, it doesn’t have particularly attractive aesthetics when worn on the ear.

Does this look like an iPod nano has just been placed on the ear? Where is the beauty in that?


Hologram pianist

Ever seen a piano battle? Ever seen a holographic piano battle?

During a music and technology festival, Japanese musical icon, Yoshiki woes his audience. Using a hologram, Yoshiki appears to be sitting opposite himself having a piano battle. The hologram produces a life-like Yoshiki and piano which he battles during a live performance.

The future of holograms is exciting to imagine.


Not google glass

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Moverio BT-200 smart glasses- by Epson  

How long is it going to be before we are all wearing these? Will our grandchildren, great grandchildren be saying “I can’t believe you lived without smart glasses?!”

We look back and question how we survived without mobile phones. Yet surely before their time people never would have believed they could ever existence.

Will these be next?

Wearable Wi-fi

We have already looked at some wearable technology, but this however, brings wifi right to the very threads of your clothes.

It has been said, for example, this could be used to keep track of soldiers in the field, alerting doctors of any medical situations quickly and efficiently.

For average day-to- day users you will have access to the internet anywhere you go, 24/7. That means not having to stand outside a shop in the freezing cold just to use their free wifi. Or countlessly trying to log into the wifi on public transport.  That wifi access point in the airport will be no longer so crowded.

To read more click HERE

After deafness is cured, what happens to the people who remain deaf?

What if the preservation of deaf culture ended? What would life be like for the last generation of people to grow up deaf?

This short film follows the lives of four deaf children, into an imagined future. Will they choose to undergo treatment or not. The film outlines a timeline looking into the future to around 2041. What happens if those who are deaf gradually find themselves without a culture, due to the changes in treatments offered?

Film directed by Ted Evans.

 It has to be understood that viewing this short film will provoke may different opinions and thoughts from a range of people. As I am a hearing viewer, watching this film may generate different opinions and thoughts within me, than it would to you.

I suggest you watch the video now if you haven’t already done so.

I am not saying there is a right and wrong way of thinking around this topic. I believe everyone has a right to believe for themselves. Because I am hearing, and have experienced sound and communication through speech, I can’t imagine enjoying life without it. I would be inclined to vote YES to treatment, as I do see it as something that could bring improvement. If I was born deaf my view may be very different as I would know no difference.

Ultimately ears are there to hear and eyes to see with. If your sight was deteriorating you would find a local eye clinic, a Specsavers, and get tested for a suitable pair of glasses. These glasses would assist in the job that your eyes aren’t doing naturally.

Upon observation, I wonder why some within the deaf community frown upon others within it whom wish to avail of medical and technological hearing developments. Using a different example, is someone who is partially sighted wrong in seeking medical and technological visual enhancements?

I am interested in learning your views. It is important I capture a range of peoples consideration and perspectives.

My personal goal, as a designer, is to help enhance quality of life. But firstly I need to understand.Your feedback is much appreciated.

For more information follow the link to:io9