If you've ever pulled out an AirPod or other in-ear bud to find it covered with ear wax you've probably wondered what other gunk hangs out in your ear canals and how you can get rid of it. Disgusting? Perhaps. But also an increasingly common human experience. It should come as little surprise that someone else has had this thought, and has built a gadget to help scratch the itch, so to speak.
If this thought pleases you, may we introduce the $70 Bebird X17 Pro ear cleaning rod? It's a smart contraption that gives you real-time and in-ear footage right to your phone courtesy of a tiny camera in the tip. Long gone are the days when you had to schedule an appointment with your ENT specialist just to see the inside of your canal. Now you can stand in your bathroom and go (safely) deep into your natural hearing device.
How does it work? — Here's what we know about the Indiegogo project that has received almost 3,000 backers so far. The Bebird cleaning rod, which is in its production phase and is due to ship in July, comes with a 3 million pixel HD camera. Its manufacturer says you can conduct 360 degree "precise cleaning" through the rod that promises 1,440 hours of use (around 60 days) from a single charge of its 350 mAh battery. The rod charges wireless — much like an electric toothbrush — and connects via USB-C.
The ear spoons are soft and can be used on your children, too. You and your offspring can look forward to a gentle cleaning thanks to the silica gel soft tips (11 different ones are included). Plus, the cleaning tip can heat up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. This is, according to Bebird's makers, a comfortable setting for venturing into your ear canal. For less obvious reasons, the handle of the rod can heat up to, but to a warmer 85 degrees.
Ditch the cotton swab — If you know anything about ears, you know that the general opinion leans against cotton swabs. This is Bebird's opinion too, naturally. "When the earwax starts affecting your hearing, it has reached the level called 'impaction,'" the makers write. "You may be more likely to develop excess wax if you use hearing aids or earplugs regularly. Also, older adults and people with developmental disabilities are at higher risks. We want to provide the ultimate solution for ear cleaning in the easiest and safest way."
Is it a strange contraption? Sure. But will someone happily buy this to really explore their ears instead of having to burn a ton of cash for professional cleaning? You betcha. It also makes for a really interesting Christmas gift for that uncle who always has his pinky in his ear.