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Vibrating vest lets you “hear music” through your skin

Hearing, deaf, and hard of hearing people will be able to sense the sound of music through new haptic suit invention

By IQ on 26 Aug 2020

Music: Not Impossible is working towards a more inclusive live entertainment experience

Music: Not Impossible is working towards a more inclusive live entertainment experience


Deaf and hard of hearing people will be able to experience music through their skin, thanks to a new haptic technology developed by Not Impossible Labs.

Not Impossible Labs, a company which uses technology to solve “seemingly impossible” problems, has developed a vibrating vest which will allow people with all kinds of hearing to sense the sound of music, rather than hear it.

The vest uses haptic feedback, which is the kinesthetic reaction we receive when we touch something, or something touches us. We perceive that object according to the response we receive from that touch.

The only vibrations at live music events come from traditional speaker systems but with the new invention, deaf and hard of hearing people will be able to enjoy live music.

“Deep down, at the core of this whole concept, it’s about how we can be humans together”

Daniel Belquer, the team’s director of technology, explains the software that runs that haptic suit to Freethink, “Right now we have 24 points of vibration in the system and they’re all individually controllable. We can control frequency and amplitude. We can make a note stronger or weaker, higher or lower.”

“[This project] is not just about the experience. It’s about the community. Deep down, at the core of this whole concept, it’s about how we can be humans together.”

The project, entitled Music: Not Impossible, took years of research, development and collaboration with deaf sing-songwriter Mandy Harvey in order to engineer a complete platform for composing, translating, and sending vibrations wirelessly.

 


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