When I first saw these images in the new york times article from this Sunday's paper, I thought they were sassed up wireless phones. At first glance, it made sense to me, given how ubiquitous cell phones are today. Of course someone would want to take them a step further to help make them more of a fashion accessory.
And then I read the article and discovered that this was a new hearing aid called delta, by the danish company, oticon. It is a medical device! A medical device that didn't look, well, medical. It looked like jewelry and was designed to integrate into the wearer's real life, rather than the other way around. What a concept.
"Cathleen Osborn, 45, who has dark brown hair, picked a pair of hearing aids with a leopard-skin design. “They go with my hair — and my personality,” she said, but added that the devices were usually not noticeable. “From the day I wore them, they just completely changed my world,” she said. “I can hear people talking in the back of the car. I can even hear whispers.”
Cutting edge, functional performance AND beautiful, sensitive design, that together add up to a device that completely changed a person's world. That's what great design can do. It can help us live better, safer lives with a chronic illness through amazing engineering and technology AND it can do it elegantly, in a way that doesn't shout illness. It's great to see another industry that gets that. It's great to know that it is possible. It's very inspiring!