Anyone who has ever watched a forensics crime show will know that it’s not such our fingerprints that are unique; the shape of our ears is also an exclusive characteristic that can set us apart from other people. And one startup company is using this feature as their USP when it comes to manufacturing products.
OwnPhones are planning to use 3D printing to create bespoke earbuds that will fit your ears perfectly, and so will ensure maximum comfort and enhanced sound quality. Founder and CEO of the San Diego-based company, Itamar Jobani said: “Ears are like fingerprints — each one is unique, so it is time that consumers were able to get earbuds that actually fit their ears properly.”
The firm are planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign in July to get funding for their personalised earbuds, which, if the crowd funding is successful, are expected to be available to buy later on this year.
OwnPhones are hoping to raise $250,000 that will enable them not only to finish developing the product, but also to market and set up manufacturing. It has been reported that the earbuds will retail for around $299 to $499, but those supporting the Kickstarter campaign before anyone else will receive a 50% early bird discount.
The way the technology will work is that customers will have access to the OwnPhones mobile app that then allows them to video a short clip of both of their ears. The video then gets uploaded to OwnPhone and using photogrammetry (the science of making measurements from photographs) these measurements are then converted into a 3D model, which can then be printed.
The customer has a choice of various materials, including several different types of plastic, and metals such as gold, and silver. There are also a range of styles to pick from, and if users are worried about strenuous activity affecting their earbuds they can let OwnPhone know, who will then add motion capture analysis data and mechanical simulation into the model to make sure that they have chosen the best design for that earbud.
Jobani, formerly a sculpture/installation artist, knows a thing about earbuds not fitting properly when participating in strenuous exercise, as his kept falling out when he jogged and it was this that gave him the inspiration to create a 3D printed bespoke pair.
He said: “Normal earphones hurt because they pressure the ear, and if they don’t pressure, they fall out. The custom-fit OwnPhones earbuds feel perfect while jumping and running, for example.”
The earbuds will also have some pretty cool features, such as a user status indicator with green for ‘approach me’, amber for ‘try your luck’ and red for ‘stay away’.
So far customized earbuds and headphones have been the sole remit of musicians such as Mary J Blige, members of Aerosmith and Vampire Weekend, who are all Ultimate Ears (custom molded headphones) customers. But with recent TV shows such as Nashville ordering customs, it just shows that people are taking bespoke headgear a little more seriously and it is becoming much more mainstream.
In the meantime, if you want to get in on the action and get ahead with your very own customized pair of earbuds, register your email now with OwnPhone website to get the latest up to date news and deals or follow them on Facebook.