“One size fits none,” is the tagline for New York-based company Normal, which uses advanced mobile and 3D-printing technologies to create custom-fit earphones that anyone can order in just minutes without leaving the house.
“I had the problem of uncomfortable earphones and was trying to figure out what else was on the market,” Nikki Kaufman, Normal founder, told ABC News.
After looking into the process of getting earphones custom made, the doctor’s appointment, silicone mold, three-week wait and $2,000 price tag seemed a little much.
“The process was totally unacceptable to me and I wanted to see if there was a better solution,” says Kaufman. “There had to be a better way.”
Kaufman found her solution in a combination of photo technology and 3D-printing. With the free Normal app, customers simply have to take a picture of each ear, holding up a quarter as a size reference, and the 3D-printer does the rest.
“We can make your custom fit based solely from that photo,” says Kaufman, who is eager about the possibilities that Normal technology can bring.
“This is a really exciting because it’s one of the first ways 3D-printing is actually mass producing a product,” she says.
The earphones, which can be uniquely designed to an individual's taste, cost $199 and take as little as 48 hours for delivery.
Though Normal is fully committed to creating the perfect earphones, Kaufman is not ruling out the possibility of more customizable products down the line.
“We don’t mention earphones in our tagline,” Kaufman says, “we’re leaving it open to other goods down the road.”