When one considers how the hearing impaired spend their time, jamming out to Led Zeppelin tunes probably doesn’t spring to mind. However, by uniquely harnessing electricity and tangible vibrations from sound, a German concept could change the way deaf people experience music. Studies have illustrated that people lose the sense of hearing, their sense of touch becomes more acute, allowing them to experience music in an entirely different way.
Designer Frederik Podzuweit created a relatively simple collar concept, dubbed Music for Deaf People. This device’s plain-looking aesthetics belie a truly unique function; it contains a special membrane substance that expands up to 400 percent and contracts in response to various levels of electricity, allowing users to “feel” through the bones in their upper body. Additionally, this solution utilizes a receiver to pick up radio frequencies, as well as a plug-in for media players.
When you put all of the pieces together, the mobile music experience could become much more immersive. Treble sounds could be felt through the collarbone, while mid-range and bass waves resonated through a user’s shoulders and neck, respectively. As of press time, a Taiwanese hearing aid manufacturer was interested in the design, but no plans yet exist to push this concept through to production.