Move over Apple: Olive’s making super slick hearing aid earbuds

By Kitty Knowles 28 November 2016

Smart design: Olive is on a mission to change social perceptions about hearing aids.

Do you use a hearing aid? Not only are they often prohibitively expensive, but they almost all look distinctly like medical devices.

South Korean business, Olive Union, wants to tackle both these problems, and it’s just launched a crowdfunding campaign to build its own designer-style earbuds, that don’t break the bank.

“Because of the financial barriers and negative social perception of wearing hearing aids, many who are hard of hearing simply give up on hearing perfectly,” writes founder and CEO Owen Song on the device’s Indiegogo page.

“The Olive is a human-centric piece of technology, affordable hearing for all.”

Olive innovation

From an aesthetic perspective, the Olive earbud itself is sleek and minimal, with a subtle oval gem design.

Smart R&D has allowed the team to create buds that come in at around 2cm high and wide, and weighs just 7.2 grams.

Olive earbuds charge using wireless technology, so you simply rest them on a charging block at the end of the day.

Help Olive be even smarter

The next-gen hearing aid uses clever algorithms and bluetooth technology to connect to a range of tools from your smartphone.

Its mobile hearing test, for example, lets you sync your wireless buds to your personal needs and manage your own unique hearing profile.

But the Olive team needs you (people of all levels of hearing) to try out and test its prototype: if everything goes well, a final product could be on the market by the end of 2017.

“Hearing aids today often advertise that they are discreet or hidden. We want to create a wearable that you would be proud to wear – something that’s both functional and elegant,” said Song.

Apple Airpods just got told.

Watch the video for the Olive prototype below…