Biomimetic Hearing Device
2021
Individual Work
Problem
Almost 30 million people aged 20-69 in the US could benefit from hearing aids, but fewer than 16% have ever used them. In 2017, the Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act passed, allowing those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss access to OTC hearing aids without a costly medical evaluation.
Goal
Conceptualize a hearing device catered to Gen Z and Millennials that uses the anatomy of the Ormia ochracea (a nocturnal fly with superior directional hearing) to inform its functionality and aesthetics. The next step is engineering the internal hardware.
Casing could be made from lightweight, medical-grade titanium in iridescent colors with a security clip on the back. The result is the look and feel of jewelry.

The Ormia fly uses a mechanical hinge near its legs to identify the direction of sound within nanoseconds.

Biomimetic MEMS directional microphone

Device can be clipped to any part of the helix or lobule.

How can we improve quality of life while de-stigmatizing hearing aids?

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