At Phonak, the person who manages design of new products is Martyn. He works with the top design and innovation experts from around the world to create the hearing aids of the future: look and feel, colours, interaction — pretty much all that makes our hearing aids quasi an extension of ourselves, in addition to processing sound in a way that improves our daily lives.
I spent some time on the phone yesterday with Nataliya, an independent innovation consultant who is going to be running some of these co-creation workshops in New York as part of the design process for the next generation of hearing aids.
Participants will be shown design ideas and given the opportunity to comment on them and even adjust them or create their own ideas — with the help of designers who will be there to draw things directly. There will also be talk of future trends like the so-called “wearable technology” and the “internet of things“. And drinks. And food. I wish New York were a bit closer to Lausanne so I could take part!
The philosophy behind this kind of approach is to be able to address real needs of real people, and come up with creative solutions to the problems we face as hearing aid users. We’ve all run into these situations where the reality of available solutions fall short of our expectations for our hearing aids and what they should be able to do for us. This is the opportunity to bring about change for the future.
Nataliya is looking for participants for her workshops: hearing-aid users, of course, whatever the brand, but also people who have hearing loss and might be thinking of getting a hearing aid at some point. Or who are managing OK without.
The main groups will be children (with their parents), teenagers, professionally active adults (40-65), and retired people (65+) along with a significant other, member of their family, or caregiver.
Would you like to share your ideas and take part in shaping the future of hearing aid design? If you are interested, give us your details and Nataliya will be in touch. You’ll of course be compensated for your time if you participate in a workshop.