Ionic Ear from Shark Tank

Ionic Ear shark tank

Decades ahead of its time, the Ionic Ear seems like something right out of a Black Mirror episode. Introduced by Darren Johnson in one of the Shark Tank episodes, this Bluetooth device was a surgically implanted one that would bypass the issues caused by Bluetooth devices.

Although all of the sharks rejected it, labelling it as a “dangerous,” “bizarre,” and “odd” idea, some fans believed that minor modifications could lead to this becoming a successful product.

What is the Ionic Ear?

The Ionic Ear device is an implantation that is aimed at solving the issues caused by ordinary Bluetooth devices. These can range from devices dislodging during physical labor to them shutting off or being displaced.

How it Works

The device is surgically implanted beneath the ear canal, situated at an angle which allows it to perform a hearing aid function. This required you to go under anesthesia to access the essential feature of the Ionic Ear.

The device would then need to be charged daily, which can be done by plugging it into an outlet on the side of your head. The wire, which is the size of a q tip, will be inserted in the ear.

It sounds a lot like modern-day cochlear implants!

What Makes the Ionic Ear Unique?

The wireless feature embedded in your ear is the one thing that sets the Ionic Ear apart from other devices in the market. This allows the device to stay in your ear, preventing it from falling out or disconnecting itself.

How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?

Darren Johnson entered the Shark Tank pilot episode to present his Ionic Ear, a wireless device that would exist within the war canal and be charged with a swab-sized charger every night. However, the pitch was soon voted the worst pitch of all time by the sharks.

A monotone presentation style and a disconnected product were used to solve an issue experienced by people worldwide.

Johnson started his pitch by requesting $1 million for a 15% stake in the company. This funding would be used to work on the plan and eventually develop the product.

John dropped out of the deal first, upon hearing of the surgical implantation required to use the product. The other sharks followed suit. Johnson inserted his comments on the further upgrades that would be needed to ensure the product stayed functioning.

The Ionic Ear pitch was rejected, and the company has ceased to exist.

Our Review of the Ionic Ear

When one first hears “surgical implantation”, it can come as quite a shock. Why should one need to invest in their body just to use a product? Our body is a unique asset, and no one wants to alter it.

However, the talk of cyborgs, artificial intelligence, and surgical implants has gotten people excited about the prospect of getting wired up permanently so that they can access features without having to carry around accessories.

The Ionic Ear is no different from modern-day implantations, albeit less developed. There are articles about bionic eyes or chips implanted underneath the skin, allowing easy access to security features on multiple devices.

This Ionic Ear may have been ahead of its time and thus misunderstood. However, the solution was less developed and poorly presented.

Pros of the Ionic Ear

  1. Permanently Wireless

If you are tired of being tied down to appliances that you have to carry with you all the time, here’s a great solution which makes you permanently hands-free.

  1. Technological Advancement

Research into surgical implantation and working with the biology of a human being to produce advanced cyborgs can take us one step further into the future. This initial research could be a stepping stone toward a better-developed product and less harmful.

Cons of the Ionic Ear

  1. Need to Plug Yourself In

On the one hand, the Ionic Ear allows you to live in a permanently wireless world. On the other, it requires you to plug yourself in at night, much like a device that needs to be charged. Eliminating this feature could lead to a better product that would be acceptable to the target market.

  1. Surgical Implantation

One needs to go under anesthesia and have something surgically implanted close to their neck to access the product’s features. Most customers may not want to opt for that.

Who is the Ionic Ear for?

The Ionic Ear is for pioneers, people who are willing to take a risk to further technological advancement and research. The first television, or breast implants as Johnson puts it, may have received just as much criticism as the Ionic Ear did. However, people adapted.

A safer version of the product could be useful for people with hearing disabilities, business people that do not want to be tied down by accessories, and people involved in physical labor.

Are There Any Alternatives?

One word. Airpods.

Back when Johnson presented his pitch, nobody knew Airpods would ever be a thing. Technological advancements are not only limited to cyborgs and artificial intelligence. They also focus on improving already existing products.

Bluetooth devices have experienced rapid transformations in the past couple of years. They are safer, smaller, and much more comfortable than before.

Our Final Thoughts

The Ionic Ear is not a product anyone would want to use. However, similar products do exist in the market, and improvement is possible. Perhaps the implant could consist of a device with an outside attachment that can be put on charge.

Investment in the Ionic Ear could potentially lead to devices for people with hearing disabilities. These advanced devices would finally provide better alternatives to people who need to use big hearing aids, which are hard to carry around.