Hush Technology wants to lull you into sleep with its smart earplugs.
The device, also dubbed Hush, is part of the growing wearable devices market that Intel, the world’s biggest chip maker, estimates could hit 400 million units a year by 2020.
The idea came from three students at the University of California at San Diego: Daniel “Ewok” Lee, Daniel “Chesong” Lee, and Daniel Synn. They created the product for an engineering entrepreneurship course at school. They were frustrated with the noise at college, but they were hesitant to use earplugs because they worried they would miss their alarms. So the Daniels decided to create an earplug that blocks out the noises they didn’t want to hear but allows in important noises such as alarms.
The earplug combines sound-eliminating foam and noise-masking technology. Many wearables monitor your sleep, but they don’t provide solutions to allow for better sleep. The Hush device fits comfortably in a user’s ear, and it is surrounded in a soft silicon surface. The product helps users sleep through snoring, loud neighbors, and other noises. But it doesn’t block the noises that are necessary, like alarm clocks or emergency phone calls.
“Hush’s ultimate goal is to help people sleep better in the context of others around them, and ultimately enable people to live a better quality of life,” said Daniel “Ewok” Lee of Hush Technology, in a statement. “The world is only getting noisier, and we aim to provide a way for people to live together harmoniously despite this.”
Hush uses Bluetooth to connect with a corresponding smartphone app, where the user can choose which notifications are and are not welcome. The device utilizes a tiny speaker to deliver notifications, and also can play soft, soothing sounds like white noise, ocean waves, and raindrops for over ten hours.
The earplugs won a Cool Idea! Award from Proto Labs, a quick-turn manufacturing company in Maple Plain, Minnesota. A company like Hush Technology can use Proto Labs to manufacture its products and get them out into the market without too much hassle. The award provides Hush Technology with the critical additive test samples needed to validate the design using Proto Labs’ additive manufacturing service. Proto Labs will then provide an initial run using the company’s injection molding service.
The Hush device is expected to ship by late summer 2015 for $150.
Proto Labs has given more than $750,000 in services via the Cool Idea! Award since 2011.
“The Cool Idea! Award was established to help product designers and engineers bring useful concepts to market,” said Proto Labs’ founder Larry Lukis, in a statement. “The potential to improve the quality of life for millions of people is a large reason why we want to help make Hush a reality.”
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