November 17, 2014
Somewhere between the size of a coffee bean and a grain of rice, the Nanoplug is a brand new hearing aid half the size of even the smallest, current hearing aids available at market. The German based company started an Indiegogo campaign in the hopes of raising $80,000; at the time of this writing they have 42 days remaining and have reached $27,389.
The Nanoplug can fit completely within the ear which makes it effectively invisible to the naked eye when worn. It also has a ‘nanobattery’, the crucial piece of technology in this hearing aid, which can be recharged instantly.
A big part of the inspiration behind Nanoplug is the desire for the company to market to a younger, hipper audience who suffer from hearing loss but don’t want the social stigma associated with traditional aids.
“The tech industry is hard at work developing solutions for the 642 million people worldwide who complain of hearing loss,” says Nevena Zivic, founder of Nanoplug. “Yet only 23 percent of them use hearing aids, due to 2 major reasons, the social stigma and extremely expensive devices.”
Part of what makes Nanoplug disruptive, outside of the battery, is the fact that a complex hearing aid can wear a four-digit price tag. One Nanoplug rings in at $250, with a pair being priced at $400: that’s a significantly lower cost.
“In the 21st century, hearing aids shouldn’t cost $2,000, come in antiquated designs, or be tedious to obtain,” says Zivic.
And boy have they given our grandparents’ hearing aids an upgrade both aesthetically and functionally. The Nanoplug captures sound near the same point your ear would naturally, which helps localize sound.
It lso features noise reduction, adaptive feedback cancelation, and features four modes to suit your environment which users can cycle by tapping their ear. To put the icing on the cake, Nanoplug is also secure enough to be worn during sports.
“Our goal is to reposition hearing aids away from medical devices, and toward a lifestyle product or accessory,” says Zivic. “With the Nanoplug, we could say goodbye to bulky, embarrassing, and expensive aids.”
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