One of my favorite intellectual pastimes is taking existing technology and projecting what types of cool new devices could come down the pike as a result of it. One of the centerpieces of this hobby is the 3D printer, a device with the capacity to turn a virtual model of just about anything into a real-world product. In my opinion, the applications for this type of device are endless, opening up a whole world of items that can be customized to a single person’s specifications.
One idea I had about a year ago, the production of custom-fitted earbuds based on the scan of an individual’s ear, has recently hit Kickstarter, one of the premier ways for private individuals and small companies to secure funding from private parties.
Dubbed Ownphones, these devices are produced by taking a scanned image of the recipient’s ears and then plugging the measurements into a 3d printer for production. Given that they have already exceeded their original goal of $250,000 of funding, I am obviously not the only person who sees the promises of this type of device.
The Ownphone is set to come in four different flavors. The first, named simply Fit, is an extremely basic model, providing a custom fit in a number of different, available colors. Next model up on the food chain is the Designer Fit, which includes not only a wide assortment of colors to choose from, but also unique and interesting designs. Given that the inventor of Ownphones, Itamar Jobani, is an artist by trade, expect some cool designs once they hit the market.
Next type is the Smart Fit, and is in my opinion the coolest type by far. With the Smart Fit, you are projected to be able to filter sounds using the associated app. For example, you want to hear the doorbell, but not the lawnmower? No problem! Simply allow the app to identify the sound you want excluded and the earbuds will tune it out.
The final type is simply (and appropriately) named Jewelry. This type would turn the earbuds into veritable works of art, allowing your bling to reach new heights of excellence. If you want style while you listen to your tunes, this is the type to get.
While the idea of custom-fitted earbuds is not a new one, this is the first example using 3D printing technology. With Ownphones, you can finally find a pair of earbuds that fit your ear perfectly, thus bypassing the annoyances that can come from discomfort or even loss.
What do you think of these Ownphones? Let us know in a comment below!