Bournemouth University student wins coveted award for gaming headset for hearing impaired
Sam Gaze, a Bournemouth University student, has designed a cutting-edge gaming headset for people with hearing aids that solves the issue of feedback.
World-leader in lifting products and renowned British engineering company, Stannah awarded Sam Gaze the Joseph Stannah Award – an award for the most innovative and inclusive design that promotes independent living – at this year’s New Designers. New Designers is an exhibition of over 3,000 design students showcasing innovative designs over a two-week period at the Business Design Centre in Islington.
The award was presented by Ross Pascoe, Chief Technical Officer at Stannah, during a ceremony at London’s Business Design Centre on Wednesday 6 July. In addition, Sam will receive £1,000 to support the further development of his career.
The Immersion Gamers Headset was designed as part of Sam’s final year Product Design course. His design allows the user to independently change volume in either ear and improve the perception and experience of surround sound. The tech used was inspired by the groynes at Bournemouth beach, which work on the same principle as sound waves.
Sam discovered that there was a need for better clarity for hearing-aids users when using headphones. According to the RNID there are 12m people that have some form of hearing loss and estimate there’ll be around 14.2 million adults with hearing loss greater than 25 dBHL across the UK by 2035 – and yet there are no headphones that have been designed for use with hearing aids.
Sam commented: “When I was conducting my research, I found that the size of headphone earcups aren’t designed to fit a hearing aid. The feedback I was getting was that many had spent a considerable amount of money on their hearing aids and so wanted them to work with headphones. It seemed to be shouting at me as a genuine problem.”
Ross Pascoe said: “This is now our 5th year at New Designers and each year we are amazed by the innovative designs. We were all really impressed by Sam’s design which uses a clever bit of tech to solve an issue that has been burdening the hearing-impaired community for some time.”
As one of Britain’s leading engineering companies and a world-leader in lifting products, Stannah is dedicated to education in engineering. Through its Joseph Stannah Foundation supports STEM projects in in local schools and colleges that promote engineering and related sciences as a career.