NuWave Bone Conduction Glasses by NuWave Team

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
NuWave

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Bone Conduction Glasses

INSPIRATION:
In the United States six million car accidents occur each year. Fifty percent of traumatic brain injuries are caused by car accidents, and twenty-five percent of hearing impairments are caused by brain injuries. The NuWave team wanted to know how we could help the millions affected by permanent hearing loss. What could be designed to give people their independence back and make them feel normal again? The answer was an assistive hearing device that manifested itself into a pair of bone conduction glasses.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
NuWave is an assistive hearing device designed to eliminate the stigma associated with hearing loss. Two front-facing microphones capture environmental noise which is then sent to the bone conduction transducers, located on the temples of the glasses. The transducers translate the sound waves into vibrations that travel through the skull bones, directly to the cochlea.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
NuWave is comprised of an assistive hearing device and a mobile application. The device, in the form of prescriptive or non-prescriptive glasses, assists the hearing impaired by means of two bone conduction transducers. These transducers translate sound waves into vibrations which travel through the skull bones to the cochlea. The mobile application acts as a remote control for the assistive hearing device and allows the user to customize features of the device, like volume level.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
This project started in March 2013 in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, and finished in April 2013 in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
-

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
115 mm x 155 mm x 47 mm

TAGS:
bone conduction, eyewear, assistive hearing, mobile app, hearing loss, glasses

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
A persona was established to evaluate the obstacles and concerns associated with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). The NuWave team interviewed a Neurology Consultant, Dr. Rollin J. Hawley, MD, to define permanent hearing loss as the main issue to address within TBI. The team wore earplugs to emulate hearing impairment and identified several pain points: difficulty staying focused, easily missing words, and difficulty getting attention. This initial research led the team to ask "Why not just wear a hearing aid?" Market analysis concluded that hearing aids tend to be bulky, expensive, require maintenance, and cause ear infections. The team began to research bone conduction and purchased a pair of bone conduction headphones to experience the technology. A market study was performed on existing bone conduction products finding they looked obtrusive and drew unwanted attention. The team decided that bone conduction could be used in the form of prescriptive or non-prescriptive glasses to assist the hearing impaired.

CHALLENGE:
The biggest challenge was trying to eliminate the stigma associated with hearing loss. It seemed that every product on the current market had something wrong with it: too expensive, too bulky, requires maintenance, causes ear infection, and draws unwanted attention. The NuWave team wanted someone with hearing loss to feel normal again, and we feel that NuWave is the perfect solution for individuals of all hearing abilities.

ADDED DATE:
2015-02-22 05:40:25

TEAM MEMBERS (4) :
Chelsey Pon, Lane Stith, Nellie Talbot and Peter Yoo

IMAGE CREDITS:
NuWave Team, 2014.

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CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
NuWave

PROFILE:
Virginia Tech undergraduate students Chelsey Pon, Lane Stith, Nellie Talbot, and Peter Yoo participated in the Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center's "Getting Wireless" Student Design Challenge. This prompted the team to look at the way design and technology can be used to help someone with a traumatic brain injury.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Nuwave Bone Conduction Glasses by Nuwave Team is a Nominee in Differently Abled and Seniors' Assistance Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

Nuwave Bone Conduction Glasses by Nuwave Team is Winner in Differently Abled and Seniors' Assistance Design Category, 2014 - 2015.



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