Bubbles aid

You know the situation. You’ve just bought a pint, settled into a pub corner and there’s a hi-fi on full blast or a crowd of screeching ladettes seriously hindering your conversation.

To save you moaning like an OAP or punctuating every sentence with ‘what?’, product design student Elaine McLuskey has created acoustic ‘social spheres’ for Edinburgh Napier University’s degree show this week.

The bubble-like structures come in two different forms: a nifty table-top unit for two and portable clear helmets that can be connected to others as you meet them.

McLuskey got the idea for the bubbles after investigating hearing impairments and aids. She hopes that the outlandish invention will get people talking about attitudes towards hearing aids, as well as helping pub chat flow a little more freely.

It’s a quirky solution to a common problem, but a future where these ‘social spheres’ catch on with self-conscious urbanites and local pub regulars will have to be seen to be believed.

The Design Show runs from 13 May – 23 May at Merchiston Campus, Edinburgh Napier University.

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