A Wireless Vibration Suit Helps the Deaf “Feel” Music

Summarized by Kolby Burger, staff writer

Thanks to the work of Not Impossible Labs a suit is being developed that would help the deaf “hear” music by translating sounds into a cascade of vibrations, with different instruments regis-tering in different zones across the ankles, wrists, back, or ribcage. Brendan Smith gave the suit a test run in a demonstration by the Music: Not Impossible (MNI) project during the Sound Sce-ne festival at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. in early July. After three years of de-velopment, a dozen prototype suits have been created and tested at concerts and other events, including the first stop of Lady Gaga’s Dive Bar Tour in Nashville last year and the South by Southwest festival in Austin. The vibration suits were developed with input from deaf people, including deaf singer Mandy Harvey, who received a standing ovation for her performance on America’s Got Talent, in which she took off her shoes so she could feel the vibrations of her voice and guitar through the floor. As of now, the suits don’t have a trademarked name yet, but MNI technology director Daniel Belquer said the company is seeking funding from investors and company sponsorships, with plans to sell a complete suit for $350 to $500 when the trials are completed.

To learn more about Brendan’s experience check our the full story here.

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