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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Sound Shirt allows the deaf to enjoy music just like everyone!

In an achievement for humanity, Cute circuit has made a new shirt that enables people short of hearing, or essentially deaf, enjoy music through how it feels. The Berhane twins, who lost their hearing at a young age, have been hired to model the shirts and they believe it has given them a brand new experience.

Twin sisters Hermon and Heroda Berhane love dancing but can’t hear the music because they’re both deaf, so the invention of a jacket with sensors that enables them to feel the different sounds has transformed their nights out in London clubs.

The shirt was also designed to feel comfortable against the skin, as there are no wires and was developed with ‘soft stretch fabrics’.

Called Sound Shirt, this garment is embedded with 16 sensors that send sensations throughout the body that coincide with the music being played to create a fully immersive feeling for a deaf audience member.

The high-tech shirt connects to a computer system that picks up the audio from microphones placed at various points around a stage – enabling those without hearing to enjoy concerts, symphonies and even musicals.

The Sound Shirt was developed by CuteCircuit, a London-based firm, which has designed flashy outfits for Katy Perry to wear during concerts. ‘The Soundshirt allows a deaf person to feel music on their skin and experience a live symphonic concert for the first time,’ CuteCircuit explained.

The shirt was also designed to feel comfortable against the skin, as there are no wires and was developed with ‘soft stretch fabrics’.

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Francesca Rosella, co-founder and chief creative officer of CuteCircuit, told Reuters ‘inside the shirt — that, by the way, is completely textiles, there are no wires inside, so we’re only using smart fabrics — we have a combination of microelectronics … very thin and flexible and conductive fabrics.’

The sound shirt derives from the award-winning hugshirt, the world’s first haptic telecommunication wearable invented by cutecircuit in 2002. the exterior decorative elements in the first prototype were precision laser cut appliqués, and in the recent iterations, this decorative element was replaced with high-resolution digital fabric printing to create the striking design.

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The visual design is a metaphor for the relationship between vibrations and sound waves modulating in different frequencies. the connecting lines also serve as a tacit diagram of the underlying data network of stretchable micro-electronic circuitry.

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Sound Shirts don’t come cheap, as they are expected to go on sale at more than 3,000 pounds ($3,673), but Heroda believes it’s a price worth paying for deaf people who enjoy music as much as she and her sister do.