A boy reads using glasses connected to his cochlear processor by an adapter.
Protoconch allows comfortable, secure use of spectacle frames along with cochlear implant processors.

Protoconch is a patented adapter that connects spectacle frames to behind-the-ear cochlear implant processors (CIs) in a manner that is comfortable, secure, and usable.

Protoconch is currently in the beta-prototyping stage, and is being developed in concert with the Ferris State University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

A one-page description of the project can be found here.

Funding and partnership requests are welcome! Contact project inventor Daniel Taylor or Office Director Thomas Dowling for more information.

The Problem:

A boy reads while wearing reassembled spectacles without his cochlear processors being worn.
Spectacles can be reassembled for use when wearers do not wish to have their CIs on.

People who wear behind-the-ear cochlear implants (CIs) can have trouble wearing spectacles at the same time, because spectacles can physically interfere with CIs.

Current solutions to the problem are uncomfortable, forcing both spectacles and CIs to compete over the limited space above the ear; insecure, leading to the potential for either spectacles or CIs to become unseated or lost; or restrict usability by connecting the spectacles to the CIs so they are difficult to remove.

The Solution:

Protoconch is a 3-D printable adapter that can be installed on spectacle frames, so that the frames can be attached securely to the earhook of a CI processor, allowing for comfortable wear, while still allowing the spectacles to be easily taken on and off throughout the day.