Have you ever had to shout just to be heard one seat over at a bar or pub? Ever struggled to hear or outright misheard that geek or geekette you’ve been eyeing all night who finally comes up to you to talk? Well, struggle no more. The BBC profiled the work of a design student in the UK named Elaine McLuskey, who has thought of a device for you. No, not a microchip implanted in your ear; not texting; not special screens. This is much lower tech and yet, somehow, looks much more space aged.
These are huge plastic bubbles designed with acoustics in mind. One of her designs sits right on top of your head like a space helmet and uses the science of acoustics to filter out the loud noises and keep close conversation from being drowned out. The other design sits on top of a table and can be used for more casual conversation, no helmet needed.
But don’t think that McLuskey just had science in mind. While her work is rooted in research, she also wanted to raise awareness for hearing impairment, demonstrating how in many situations we can experience hearing limitations to some degree. Says the designer: “I hope the very noticeable and eccentric appearance starts people talking about hearing impairments.”
What do you think? Think these have the possibility of some geek appeal? Would you wear one of these? I think they’d look fabulous on Admiral Ackbar. Just not sure it’d make the best impression on a first date…