When I saw that there’s a new hearing aid for people who could already hear, I thought it sounded a little tasteless, to say the least. But then I learned it wasn’t some sick joke but a wearable gadget designed to make it easier to communicate in loud places or different parts of the house. I thought about how nice it would be to actually know what someone in the living room was saying from any other part of my flat, and got on board.
The Scoop is made by Soundhawk who are marketing it for general consumers as a “Smart Listening System” (I guess “eavesdropper’s best friend” was taken). It consists of a device that looks similar to a Bluetooth headset, a wireless microphone, and a charging case that should allow around eight hours of use. The idea is that it’ll make it easier to hear people whether you’re in a car with the windows down, at a busy party, or in the middle of the city, and you can use the mic to help amplify the TV, too. The company doesn’t mention pretending you’re a superhero with supersonic hearing, but it seems like a missed opportunity not to.
It comes with four ear tips, for different ear sizes and sound frequencies. There’s also an app (for iPhone and Android), which can control the Scoop’s settings. Users pick the sound environment they’re in and the type of adjustments they need (from higher frequency to fuller sound). As you keep using it, you’ll be able to geo-tag your settings so the Scoop automatically adjusts depending on where you are.
It comes in graphite or sand for $299 (£176) and is available for pre-order via the website.