, 07. February 2017
Feel the Music through the Sound Shirt!

New Wearables for Deaf

The first in Germany who invited deaf to a concert were the Junge Symphoniker Hamburg. With the so-called sound shirt, deaf people can feel the music on the body as vibrations without hearing. We betray to you how that works.

x-working Sound Shirt, thank you very much for the image Ms. Bresser / Junge Symphoniker Hamburg, (c) Jung von Matt/Alster
Sound Shirt, thank you very much for the image Ms. Bresser / Junge Symphoniker Hamburg, (c) Jung von Matt/Alster

There are 16 little engines built in in the garment, which make sounds noticeable on the body. The orchestra plays at several microphones connected to the shirt. The instruments are assigned to the different areas by the help of a computer software. For example, violins are on the upper arm, violas on the left forearm, and the wind instruments on the back. Thus, high tones are rather perceived on the arms and the bass on the belly and the back. It feels like a beautiful massage, you should definitely check this out!

The wearable looks extremely futuristic. It brings the "Tron" films to mind. The shirt is made of neoprene. It feels like a diving jacket. In the neck, all wires come together and wirelessly receive the information from the computer. In addition, little LEDs will flash as soon as the music resounds. The lamps, however, only serve the futuristic aesthetics.

The idea for the sound shirt came from the well-known advertising agency Jung von Matt. They designed the sensual listening experience with the Young Symphonists Hamburg and the Interactiv Fashion Company CuteCircuite from London and produced a professional advertising clip. It quickly went around in the deaf scene that such a shirt exists.

As a result, there were about 400 applications to try the sound shirt in the concert of the symphonists. Asha Rajashekhar was one of the lucky ones who could experience the sound experience: "That was totally overwhelming. I could hear the different instruments at the different body areas. I would like to take it with me", her interpretess translated her gesture afterwards.

So far, there is only the prototype of the sound shirt. It is said to be very sensitive. It still remains open how one will continue with this new idea. Many deaf people would thus open up doors to enjoy classical concerts. The technology could be further developed, additional jackets could be produced. However, there is no investor for the high costs. Large concert halls would have to pay for sound technicians, who would mike the musicians and set the sound shirt correctly before the concerts. So far, this is not yet conceivable. Nevertheless, the future is near, as we know. It remains exciting.

© 2017 – x-working

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