Sunday, February 18, 2007

What? Huh? I am sorry, what did you say?

Last night, my daughter, my wife, and I attended a wonderfully pleasant wedding. At the reception, the DJ spun his magical mix of jazz, rock, hip-hop, Top 40’s from the 70's, 80's, and 90’s. I am not sure how close my old ears got to the speakers, but my ears are ringing a little louder today than usual. While reading my RSS feeds on Google Reader, I skimmed across this post from WIRED Blogs and had to comment on the article. It is: SPOT ON. My hearing is not what it once was. Add to that the dance music and I know I missed some really interesting comments made by fellow attendees at the wedding reception. I could see lips and mouths moving and could catch parts of what was being said. The people at my table must have thought I was ignoring them, but I could not hear what they were saying. The stress from trying to hear conversations made having a conversation a real challenge.

Not to be a grouch, I actually enjoy all kinds of music. So, if I cannot hear well, why not get a hearing aid? No. They are not cool. Call it vanity if you want, but hearing aids equates old age. Now, not go postal on me. This is my opinion. My father paid big bucks for a set of hearing aids. He would not wear them. He complained that they did not fit right. He kept leaving them here and there. My mother fussed constantly about him not wearing them or not putting in a battery, and on and on. I do not mind wearing ear buds while at the gym working out. IMHO, hearing loss is the redheaded stepchild of the worthwhile diseases, but it is a personal issue to me. This is a desperate predicament for all most all Baby Boomers.

While reading the article linked below, it hit me: iEar. Steve Jobs please design your fellow Baby Boomers something cool. iEars could be a big financial success and popular tech gadget. Imagine “digital hearing appliances” from Apple. Taking design clues from the original iBook and how it transformed the boring black laptop into a cool “must have”. Then it was the iPod. They are fabulously popular and user-friendly. Steve- your fellow aging Baby Boomers need a favor- design us a cool hearing aid. Could it have bluetooth, so we can hear our podcasts, music, iPhone, video, and Apple TV? Whip up support and the cool factor by celebrity endorsements. Maybe folks like Bono, Ozzy, Mick, and James Taylor to raise money for "iEars for Baby Boomers". I can see the ads for it now: [wide-shot] Are you tired of the What? Huh? Tell me that again? [two-shot] I'm PC and I cannot hear a thing you are saying. I'm Mac, and I am wearing the new iEar from Apple, Inc. I can listen to my iPhone, and all my Beatles music without having to drag around my laptop and iPod. [fade-to-white] iEar, from the corporation that damaged you hearing, we now offer these products to you at a low cost of 99 cents.
[TagLine] iEar: hear like a hawk. Now available at an Apple Store near you, or online at

WIRED Blogs: Bodyhack

As one scientist just put it at a briefing for reporters at the AAAS annual meeting, "hearing is considered to be the sort of poor cousin of vision. It also doesn't have the sex appeal of aids and malaria and other worthwhile diseases."
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