dunno where n how to start

hi guys …well i need a little bit of help .

i hv been assigned a school project where im supposed to design a hearing equipment. it can be anything eg. stereo headphones , ear phones, ear buds , ear plug etc. im not able to so called stream line my issues and find a problem and a posible solution for it . its like a maze and there has been much said and done in terms of ear equipment design. i would like to look into consumer psychology aspects and trends aspects cos as far as human factors is concerned it seems that all the possiblities have been experimented.

i dunno how i should come up with an unique design. im waiting for an idea which can really jump start my project.

Pick an archetype and design it specifically for these group of users. That’s the easiest start for you.

MP3 Players for rednecks?

How about some kind of hearing aid for students who can’t hear well.
Maybe a two part device w/ earpeice and then some thing that can be placed near the instructor, or plugged into the sound board for clarity.


I’ve heard of a technology that’s implanted inside hearing-impaired people to help them recognize sounds. It recognizes sounds and sends an electronic signal to the brain which then interprets them.

Ear cleaner? More like a decloger

I would start interviewing people. Ask them how they feel about earphones. I know the ones that come with the Ipod s*ck in terms of sound functionality but I like how compact they are. Others are too big (although work better.) I hate the ones that go over your head… I feel like I should be wearing bunny ears when I wear those.

The white cord ipod headphones have become a fashion statement, but I agree that they don’t work very well.
They have nice shape and form, and fit well, but even w/ ipod all the way up, they still aren’t loud enough to really get into the music.
Might need to get my ears checked, but alot of my friends say the same to same thing.
@ Vicky, might be an easy solution, redesign an iconic product to make it more useful. Dunno if that’ll do for your assn, but its just a thought,
good luck,

'm an ex-ID who now operates heavy equipment (bulldozers, scapers, excavators, etc.). These pieces of equipment are incredibly dangerous, hot, and noisey (95+dB isn’t unusual in the enclosed cab of a big dozer).

A real product need; more complicated than an Ipod.

A safety helmet (hard hat) that incorporates hearing protectors with a communication capability. An “OSHA” rated helmet system that incorporates hearing protectors that don’t give the user an immense headache after a ten hour day. It must also incorporate sun / dust protection for the eyes.

Combine FSR radio reception (so we can communicate with other operators and supervisors) with an MP3 capability. Since this would be an industrial setting safety is the primary concern, with supervisory input being second; hence the FSR circuit should over ride the MP3.

The market?

There are approximately 23,000 union Operating Engineers in California. There are three times as many who are independent. The math looks something like 50 x 100,000 operating engineers in the US … alone.

Why combine all of these elements?

There are currently hundreds of safety helmets (hard hats) available and there are headphone type hearing protectors available that can be plugged into a lot of them. The problem with the “aftermarket” hearing protectors is that they have to be small enough to “universally” fit under the edge of the greatest number of helmets. As a result they are so small that they pinch the ears; after an hour it’s agony, after ten the red marks don’t go away until the next morning.

The helmet needs to be designed so that the hearing protectors are large enough to provide room around the ear for it to lay naturally; it would also increase the surface area and lower the pressure against the head. This added space would be more than enough for speakers. Ear plugs, and earbuds, are out, I’ve tried them under my hearing protectors and it’s just too hot, uncomfortable, and you have to remove both your headphone hearing protector AND the earbud to use the radio or speak with personnel on the ground. The delay in removing these to respond to a command is a real safety issue. The “mike” should be a manually keyed throat worn device, as opposed to “hands-off” voice activated unit. The reason? The noise level in these machine is enough to “key” the transmitter.

Why should this system include eye protection?

This is a very dusty (abrasive) environment in which to work and ultra violet radiation is damaging to the eyes; something like 12% of operating engineers, who have worked in the industry for thirty years (their whole working life) develop cataracts, so vision protection is very important.

When you wear a headphone type hearing protector you have to slip the temples of your sunglasses under the headphone which does two things; 1) it breaks the seal around your ear and it gets noisey again, and 2) the headphone pad presses the sunglass frame into that tender area immediately above your ear.

Not a quick, or easy project … but does address a real human factors problem.