The bone anchored Baha® 5 hearing aid, developed in close collaboration between Cochlear and Attention, has been recognized with the Red Dot Designed Award 2015 for its design, usability and aesthetics.
We’ve previously had Innovation Director at Attention, Martin Pråme, tell about some of the challenges in making a bone anchored hearing aid look great. So he’s naturally very excited about the Baha® 5 receiving the Red Dot Award:
“The many months of research has been very rewarding. We have developed an extraordinarily beautiful product that really respects the users’ need for a discreet, almost invisible device.
“We know that it will break down barriers in relation to users’ choice of hearing implant! ” Martin Pråme explains.
Aesthetics is as important as technology
Cochlear’s products have long been recognized for their high technical and medical standards. When Cochlear saw a desire for a more aesthetic and contemporary design with their users, they teamed up with Attention to get a partner with capabilities within research and design as well as engineering.
This ensured an efficient process, allowing for an innovative design update while paying attention to the quality and high technical standards that Cochlear is renowned for.
For Attention the project started with months of research with doctors, health care professionals and especially people with hearing loss. Attention’s research team traveled throughout Sweden, the UK and the USA and examined the functional and aesthetic requirements the different users had for hearing implant systems.
The size is crucial
Attention found that one of the barriers for potential users of a Baha® System was the size of the sound processor. The existing solutions were, for many users, too large and too visible in the position behind the ear.
In close cooperation, Attention’s designers and Cochlear’s engineers worked on finding the optimal placement of components to ensure a smaller size while maintaining equal or better hearing performance.
Additionally, Attention worked on reducing the perceived size by rounding the corners, adding smooth, soft surfaces and revising the color options to match the warm, natural tones of human hair. The new sound processor also features a single-button control and an easy to use battery door.
Smart design gets rewarded
In the nomination of the The Baha® 5 Sound Processor, the Red Dot Jury wrote:
“You showed uncompromising competency and considerable courage and have measured yourself successfully against the best in the industry. Both of these things are now being rewarded – in the most important competition for product design, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary.”
Read more here
The result is pretty amazing – see a presentation video here: