Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons

Outer Ear allows hearing-impaired people to 'feel the noise'


February 21, 2010

The wrist-mounted Outer Ear detects sound-waves via a wrist-strap and converts it into low, medium or high vibrations

The wrist-mounted Outer Ear detects sound-waves via a wrist-strap and converts it into low, medium or high vibrations

Image Gallery (4 images)

The Outer Ear is a non-surgical concept system for the hearing impaired that detects sound-waves and converts them into physical vibration. A watch-like wrist-strap acts as the receiver and transmits a signal via Bluetooth to a device mounted on the arm which in turn converts the sound into low, medium or high vibrations depending on the frequency.

Designed by Jack Allwood, student at Swinburne University Australia, the Outer Ear can be adjusted for outdoors and indoors. The outdoor setting picks up sounds with higher decibels allowing the wearer to feel traffic and other loud noises, while the indoor adjustment picks up sounds more nearby, for instance timers, door bells or even babies and children.

Seen initially as a safety tool for deaf and hard of hearing persons, Allwood suggests that the Outer Ear also has the potential to improve human relationships and aid enjoyment of music by deaf people without the surgery required for devices like the Cochlear implant.

The Outer Ear is one of the student designs been shortlisted for the 2010 Australian Design Awards - James Dyson Award.


By the way, may I suggest to change from Hearing Impaired to Deaf/Hard of Hearing or People with Hearing Loss because Hearing Impaired is politically incorrect because it implies that Deaf people are impaired in some important way. Do not want all readers think our ears are broken!

Again, people with hearing loss do not have a disease. We are not looking for a cure but ACCEPTANCE. Thank you for reading this message.


This device is quite a cool thing, and I\'ve actually seen it in use before. At the hospital where I work we work with the hearing impaired and received state funding to get a few devices and allow our patients to test them out. Other Hearing clinics around the country are working with devices similar to these which help improve the quality of life those with hearing impairments. Modern technology, quite an amazing thing!

Vera Mosley

VERA Im Sharleens husband..i saw your reference to a device for pain and hearing impairment..i am afflicted with both, SCI patient, para for a year and a half, slowly regained ambulatory ability..one ear is totally deaf, the other going..Im a shrink, i still work part time but my hearing is so bad, therapists sit in my appointments with their patients..at this rate, i will be forced to retire from a successful 20 year career..any hope for such as I??? thanx, Dr Lee

Sharleen Hendrickson

The outer ear hearing device is the best hearing device i ever bought for my child. My child is about 80% deaf, he can hear but not that much as a normal ear can hear so i have decided to buy a hearing device for him. Outer ear hearing device is a much beneficial hearing device I\\'ve ever known. Aside from it\\'s very reliable characteristics that i can somehow compare to the description at http://lyndseybattle.com/selecting-the-perfect-hearing-aid/ it is not that awful to use because it is a device that can\\\\'t be seen directly except if those people around you will inspect your ears. If there will be a hearing device that i could recommend to my friends that has the same problem with mine i would rather say that outer ear is the best solution for your problems.


The device that was created is really interesting. I am new to learning about different devices that help aid those who are Deaf. I am currently an ASL student where I not only learn sign and about the culture of the Deaf but also the politically correct way of addressing the Deaf - which is Deaf/Hard of Hearing not "hearing impaired". The term hearing impaired is incorrect because it degrades someone who is Deaf; in the article you title someone as being hearing impaired which I would like to ask you to change the terminology in the article to be politically correct. Thank you for taking your time to read my comment and helping raise awareness of the correct way of addressing the Deaf.


Oh please tell me if you know... WHERE CAN I BUY ONE right NOW ?

Awerealis Knight

please tell me where i can buy this outer ear hearing device...??

Gopi Krishanan J
Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles