As active and mobile as the world we live in tends to be, with cell phones, tablets, and computers all being on the go, it is bizarre that all of the earphones we have now (as great sounding as they are) still fit as poorly as they did a decade ago. Now, with the help of 3D printing and a different form of 3D scanning, Lantos Technologies Inc. is looking to change that previous conception. Based in Wakefield Massachusetts, the company has unveiled Uvero Earbuds, the first custom fit ear buds that take advantage of 3D printing and scanning to fit your ear perfectly.
The technology was developed by MIT’s mechanical engineering Professor Douglas Hart; it works by extending rubber membrane inside your ear and then expanding it like a balloon. Inside that balloon a digital camera records the shape and translates that information into a 3D model, which is then printed as a silicon ear bud. Every ear, and every bud is unique, and if you are a professional musician or happen to work in the music industry then you have probably seen similar ear buds to these before, but this is the first time they are being made available for commercial use.
The first of these ear buds went on sale last month, with plans to distribute more globally soon, the only issue is that it is difficult to operate the scanning technology that is required to get an accurate scan of the consumer’s ear. The price point is also rather high, a pair of these ear phones can cost nearly $300 between the scanning service, manufacturing and delivery. But with the trend in the market leading into more high end products such as Beats or Turtle Beaches, Uvero CEO Jeffery Leathe seems quite optimistic. “I think we’ll expand quite dramatically,” he states to the Boston Globe, “What we’ve seen in the headphone market is definitely this trend upward toward premium products,”