The technologists, early adopters, and so-called “explorers” who got their hands on the first pairs of Google Glass have been describing the moment they slide on the odd-looking headset for the first time with a kind of evangelical fervor.
Few have conveyed the power of the device, though, with the kind of personal insight offered by David Trahan, a senior strategist for global digital marketing and technology agency MRY.
Trahan--whose job involves using customer insights to create digital experiences for clients--is deaf in his right ear. Little did he know when he was invited to be a Google Glass Explorer that the device would let him hear in a way he hadn't before.
Trahan recently trekked over to Google’s office in Chelsea Market for a Glass demonstration. While there, a Google employee made a passing reference to how the bone conduction audio technology that’s part of Glass makes it possible for someone who’s deaf to hear sounds emitted by the device.
Trahan said he was shocked and nearly moved to tears.
How did the device make that possible? According to the Hearing Loss Education Center, bone conduction involves sound traveling straight into the inner ear through the skull. Rather than try and reach the inner ear by going through the damaged part, systems like the one in Glass send it through the bone. Trahan says hearing with Glass is different than hearing out of your ear normally. He wasn’t sure if it sounded different than his normal ear because he’s not used to hearing or because it’s a different sound. It feels like it’s coming from inside your head, he explained.
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