The debate among designers – especially industrial designers, the men and women who design everything from cars to coffee grinders to hearing aids – has always centered on the question of form versus function. What’s more important?
Form is the look of the object, gizmo or widget. Function is, not only what the widget does, but how well (and how long) it does it. And the goal of these nuts-and-bolts artists is to strike a balance between style and substance or form and function. Same thing.
Covers everything from product packaging to logo design to usability and durability.
Think about haute couture name-brand designers – Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, the House of Versace, Tiffany’s, and up-scale stores selling name brand products.
In these cases, consumers want two things – design and style. That’s why starlets are always asked “who are you wearing” as they make their ways through the throngs that line the red carpet at Hollywood events.
In these instances, the dress has to last one night so function is less important to form. Of course, this has lead to various fauxs pas on the runway but, again, taste and style are subject in the area of branded clothing lines. The name is more important than the quality of the item itself.
Industrial designers deal with a whole, long list of requirements before they sit down to the drawing board to design the new Masarati Testarosa. This isn’t something you drive once and toss – not at prices starting at $160,000 for these hand-crafted speed machines and babe magnets.
Hearing Aids with Style and Substance
People who use hearing aids like an attractive design, too, whether it’s parked in the driveway or parked behind the ear. The days of the clunky, beige and blah hearing aids went the way of the 8-track and rotary dial phones.
|Starkey's Zon hearing aid|
The Zon hearing aid from Starkey Labs strikes the perfect balance between form and function, style and substance. In fact the Zon hearing aid has won five design awards for its innovative and crowd pleasing design.
In a Starkey press release for winning the Spark Design Award, Tim Trine, Chief Technical Officer for Starkey stated: “You can’t know what people want without asking them, and that’s exactly what we did. We conducted extensive research with hearing care professionals and patients to find out what they wanted in a hearing instrument – and the result is the award-winning Zon.”
The design is modern, sleek and discreet – everything professionals and patients asked for. But this hearing aid’s functionality – its utility and results for the wearer – are just as critical as eye appeal. In fact, in the case of hearing aids, function is even more important. What good does it do to wear an eye catching hearing aid if you still can’t hear properly? Get the picture.
But aren’t hearing aids the size of a can of corn? And aren’t there like wires and a lot of problems like whistling?
A lot of consumers are on the fence about purchasing hearing aids because they’re working with bad information. Unfortunately hearing aids have dealt with a negative rap over the years; however with advancements in digital technology and award winning design, hearing aids are now being viewed as a necessity.
Look at the Starky Zon again. Does that look like a throwback to the ‘50s when only geezers wore hearing aids (with apologies to geezers everywhere)? Today’s consumer is younger, hipper, grew up in the ‘60s and has entitlement issues. This is the generation that wants it all NOW!
So the hearing aid industry, as a whole, has been working overtime to address these changing consumer needs by changing beige and blah into ear bling. Seriously, some of the most stylish devices look more like jewelry than hearing aids.
Okay, Cool Form. Now Function?
|Elegant and powerful|
Starkey’s Zon is typical of the direction quality hearing aid manufacturers are moving. Stylish, yes, but the devices better deliver a lot of features in those wafer thin profiles. And the do.
Check out the standard features of the Zon:
- Optimized by BluWave™ Signal Processing – improving clarity, greater directionality, and better speech audibility in a variety of environments.
- Active feedback intercept – allowing more high frequency gain without the whistle
- Automatic telephone response
- Reliable and totally rugged for today’s active lifestyles.
So, not only do you get stylish good looks with many of today’s best hearing aids, you get design and engineering goodies that might not be tops on your list of hearing aid priorities. There’s more to the Zon, just as there’s a lot more than good looks in a fine Italian sports machine.
Form and Function Seamlessly Integrated in the Starkey Zon
So, what do today’s Boomers want in their hearing aids?
Yes, it has to have a little sass and attitude. Many consumers don’t want beige and blah, though there are those consumers who want the look of invisibility available in CIC units that fit directly into the ear canal and for those buyers, there are numerous options when discretion is the priority.
But more and more hearing aid wearers are eliminating the one-time stigma of hearing loss by showing some sass and style behind the ear.
Starkey’s Zon is one of many leading edge hearing aids that deliver both form and function, to deliver a natural, comfortable and satisfying hearing experience regardless of your preferences and needs.
Bottom line: You can get cool and make a statement with hearing aids that are designed for performance and for beauty.
See you at the next arts ball, and I hope to see some style from head to toe – including those stunning elegant hearing aids that glisten in the moonlight. You know you’ve arrived, and what’s even better?
You can hear all about it.