Plantronics and The Infamous Wall of Ears

Ben Bajarin - Jan 26, 2011, 5:32pm CST
Plantronics and The Infamous Wall of Ears

Today is Plantronics 50th anniversary as a company.   I was at their corporate headquarters to join in the celebration, which included American hero Buzz Aldrin as a guest speaker.  As a part of the celebration they launched two new products and then took a few of us to see their industrial design labs which included the infamous wall of ears.   This wall is not just famous it is IN-famous (kudos to the commenter who ID’s this movie quote.)

This wall contains rubber molds of ears of every size, shape and form they could possibly throw together in order to cover as wide a range of ear shapes possible.  Plantronics tests all new headset designs rigorously in order to put on the market the most comfortable headset for all shape and sized ears.   Ears are notoriously difficult to create a mass market product for due to the level of inconsistency in human ear shapes.   This wall is the “database” Plantronics has created in order to hit as many variables in headset design possible.

Each row of ears has been given a name to represent a shape and the other which percentile of the human race that particular shape and size fit into.   It is fascinating how much goes into designing a headset that is comfortable for every member of the human race.   For what its worth Plantronics demonstrated to me how much effort and research they put into designing the most comfortable headset one can wear.

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