Our Fixpartner is named Benny and has been diagnosed with Bilateral Hearing Loss. He uses discrete hearing aids to help with day to day conversation. However the fact they are bespoke to his ear shape, small and expensive makes the possibility of losing them a frightening thought. Yet Benny removes his hearing aids when he is on a night out because the environment can temporarily paralyse his hair cells, making it more difficult to hear the next day.
The case the Fixpartner already uses does hold the hearing aids. On the other hand, it does not have any fixings to attach it on his person. This causes difficulty if he needs to access his phone or his wallet from his pocket.
Designs looked at how the product could be on your person without being disruptive. Discovered through several interviews with Benny, he liked the idea of having a watch style case, therefore development looked at watches and bracelets to create a form.
The majority of development was carried out through modelling. Foam was used when involving the desired strap. Then rough 3D printed parts were used to determine size and orientation of the Hearing Aids. Finally finishes and materials were chosen to be most suitable for its application.
My role in the team heavily revolved around the documentation of the project. Other tasks I contributed to was editing and sketching. We worked well as a team because we were all self-starters so would get tasks done.
The final prototype was 3D printed and spray painted, with Apple watch straps. Benny's feedback included that "it feels how a normal watch would feel". This was a very positive outcome as it made him feel comfortable and confident to wear it.
Design Tags: Prototyping | Videography | Fixperts | Bespoke