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March 1, 2014

Hearing Aids as Art

Behold, an interesting collection of photographs showing that hearing aids can also be art - or the subject of art.

Hearing aids, as a piece of technology, have dramatically improved in the past 20 years to become works of art and also fashionable - 4 of the images below I got from a blog post about fashionable hearing aids. The rest of the images I gleaned from Google Images search results, advertisements and other sources.

Since their invention hearing aids have gone through a remarkable transformation - especially in 1898 when the first electric hearing aid was invented by Miller Reese Hutchison. The invention was a huge change for hearing impaired people, dramatically improving their ability to listen and communicate.

Over 9% of adults in North America suffer from hearing loss at some point in their life times, with the percentage going up dramatically if they are in high risk noisy occupations and not wearing adequate hearing protection. Thus hearing aids have helped a huge portion of the population.

But hearing aids for many years have been rather ugly. It is only in recent years that manufacturers of hearing aids have realized that by making more fashionable hearing aids, by making them beautiful - by making them ART - that they can bring in more sales and make more money.

In comes advertising - the realm of photographers and graphic designers. They can take an iPhone, jazz it up with photography and photo shop and make it a work of art. So why not do the same thing with hearing aids?

Hearing clinics, like the Omni Hearing Clinic in Vaughan, and other hearing clinics all over the world are stocking hearing aids that have great technology in them, they're waterproof, stain resistant, shock proof - and best of all, beautiful.

Like jewelry they can break over time (gold chains snap surprisingly easily), but due to higher standards in the hearing aids industry breakage is comparatively rare because hearing aids are built using stainless steel, industrial plastics, carbon fibre and similar durable materials.

The good news is that stainless steel and carbon fibre are very easy to make them look beautiful - which makes the jobs of photographers in the advertising industry even easier.

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