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Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Posted on October 13th, 2012 by RESCUECOM
Joggers now have an option to lower their risk for accidents and hearing loss. Those who exercise while wearing traditional earbuds or headphones to listen to music or other recordings could be at risk. HearBudz is a new product to address health and safety problems caused by athlete inattention and high-volume music.
HearBudz are small attachments to Apple earbuds that keep them out of the ear canal. In shifting the location of earbuds, you still hear your music, yet you also hear street noises that could alert you to an approaching vehicle or other emergency.
The HearBudz website cites a University of Maryland study saying reported accidents of pedestrians wearing earbuds and hit by a vehicle have tripled over the last six years, with about three-quarters dying.
While the quality of music may improve when the earbud is stuck further in the ear canal or headphones feature sound-canceling qualities, safety does not.
In addition, according to the Phoenix, Arizona-based company, HearBudz protect your ears from too-loud music. One in four teenagers risks early hearing loss due to loud music devices, according to research from Tel Aviv University.
When RESCUECOM asked why it has taken so long to recognize the problems of safety and hearing loss, Scott MacDonald, HearBudz co-founder, answered, “I believe that most major companies that manufacture earbuds and headphones are more concerned with better sound quality, more bass and louder speakers. Noise-cancellation technology is improving and gaining popularity, which is great if you’re on an airplane or at home, but not so great if you’re out jogging. The problems associated with most earbuds and headphones on the market today are largely overlooked.”
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HearBudz work with standard white earbuds accompanying an iPad, iPhone, iPod or nano. The company claims that the HearBudz will stay in, even during running or other strenuous exercise.
“For most people, they stay in position very well, and are very comfortable for long periods of time,” MacDonald noted. “The sizes and shapes of people’s ears vary greatly, so it would be impossible to say that they stay in place perfectly for everyone. They worked great for the majority of people that have tried them.”
MacDonald got the idea for HearBudz while skiing by himself. Listening to music, he realized that if danger approached, he wouldn’t be able to hear it. So he moved the earbud outside his ear canal, holding it in place with his ski hat.
Since they went on sale in July 2012, about 3,500 pairs of HearBudz have sold. At $6.95 a pair, lightweight HearBudz come in six colors and fit most people.
“The next step for HearBudz is to promote the product,” MacDonald stated. “We are currently working on getting the word out, and raising awareness of the dangers of earbud use.”
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012
HearBudz is a new company formed in collaboration between Transcend Financial Solutions, LLC and Arizona Technology Partners, LLC. Based in the Phoenix, Arizona area, HearBudz aims to solve three of the main problems with most traditional earbuds out there.
We all know someone who owns at least one ipod, ipad, iphone, or nano, if we don't ourselves. Given the prevalence of these products, most of us own, or at least have seen the white earbuds that come standard with all of these products. Over the years, many people have had issues with these earbuds, and several companies have attempted to solve some of these problems.
One major problem that a lot of companies seem to overlook is the safety issue. It should be obvious to just about anyone that putting earbuds in your ears, turning up the volume, and then going out into the world is very dangerous. However, many people do it anyway, sometimes to their own peril. A recent study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that the number of accidents involving pedestrians being hit by vehicles, where the pedestrian was wearing earphones, have tripled in the last 6 years. About 75% of those accidents resulted in death.
One other issue surrounding the use of earbuds is premature hearing damage. According to the Starkey Hearing Foundation, 6 and a half million teens have noticeable hearing loss, which is a 31% increase from a decade ago. What’s changed over the last decade is the increased use of earbuds. Blaring music directly into the ear canal puts a lot of pressure on the delicate structures of the ear drum. Using HearBudz could lower the risks of premature hearing loss by re-positioning the speaker from the ear canal to just outside of it.
The inspiration for HearBudz came on the ski slopes in Eastern Arizona. One of the founders, Scott MacDonald, went off on his own to ski some black diamond runs (which he probably had no business being on). Since he was by himself he popped in his earbuds and hit play on his ipod. Part way down the first run, he realized that something was just not right. He had no way to tell if someone was coming up from behind. If someone were coming up on the side while he was attempting to turn, he would have no way of knowing. Even if a warning was shouted out, it probably would not have be heard. The resulting crash at high speeds would undoubtedly be painful, to say the least. On the next lift back up the mountain, he decided to try to move the earbud from the ear canal to a new position just outside of it. He placed his earbud a little higher up on the ear, and then held it in place with his ski hat. This worked well. It was like having background music everywhere he went on the mountain, while still being able to hear what was happening around him.
When he got home from that trip, Scott worked on designing something that would give him the same effect, but without the hat. Like most areas of the country, especially the Phoenix, AZ area, it's just not practical to wear a ski hat everywhere. Scott set out to design something that would re-position the speaker of his existing earbuds to just outside of the ear canal. He needed it to be small, lightweight, comfortable, and adjustable. After a few design changes and many prototypes, the current HearBudz were born.
Friday, June 29, 2012
We have all seen them, and most of us even own a pair or two. They are the little white earbuds that come with all Apple products. Whether it's an ipod, ipad, iphone, or nano, included is the famous white earbuds.
What's wrong with these, you say? At first glance they seem quite innocuous. The truth, however, is that if they are used in certain circumstances, they can put you in real danger. It's obvious to most people that listening to music through earbuds while performing various activities out in the world can be dangerous, yet many continue to do so at their own peril.
There are many documented occurrences of people being hit by various vehicles while out walking, jogging, bicycling, etc. There is even one fatal accident that happened in Canada, where an extremely unfortunate man was going to check his mail while listening to music through his earbuds. On his way, a malfunctioning helicopter fell out of the sky and landed on him. It's impossible to say for sure that if he wasn't listening to music through earbuds, he would have heard a sputtering helicopter coming straight for him. It seems logical, however, to think that if he had been able to hear his surroundings, he may have had a fighting chance to try to run out of the way of disaster.
In another case, a woman was jogging along a path that is used by walkers, runners, bicyclists, skaters, etc. She was listening to her music, and not able to hear her surroundings. As a bicyclist attempted to pass her, she made a quick turn. The force of the accident proved to be fatal. Again, we don't know for certain whether she could have avoided this if she could have heard her surroundings, but it does seem logical.
A recent study by the University of Maryland found that the number of reported accidents involving pedestrians wearing earbuds, and being hit by vehicles has tripled over the last 6 years, with about 75% of those accidents resulting in death.
Although these are alarming statistics and extreme examples, they definitely highlight the fact that this is a real danger. Think about how many more accidents occur daily throughout the world that don't result in a fatality, and are not reported. These numbers could be enormous.
There seems to be a trend in the technology of earbuds that could exacerbate this situation even further. Several companies have developed and promoted earbuds that are better at staying in the ear canal. Others have even added improved "sound cancellation" technology, and even made them louder and with more bass. While this new technology may make one's music sound louder and clearer, It is safe to say that they will also be even more dangerous if used while performing any activities.
One company is dedicated to making the use of earbuds much safer and more enjoyable: HearBudz. They designed a simple and unique solution to this problem. HearBudz are a small attachment that clips right onto your existing Apple earbuds and re-positions them so you can hear your music and the world around you at the same time. They securely and comfortably move the speaker to just outside of the ear canal. They are fully adjustable, allowing the user to control just how much outside noise they want at any given time. They are lightweight and flexible, and fit just about anyone, from kids to adults.
for more info visit us at http://www.hearbudz.com/#!home/mainPage