Going to the orchestra or a music gig might not be the first type of night out you might associate with a being deaf person. But this revolutionary piece of clothing literally allows them to feel the music directly on their bodies. And apparently the effect is incredible.
The Sound Shirt, developed by Cute Circuit, a UK based fashion tech company, is a piece of clothing that takes the sounds produced and brings the music to life using haptic sensors that are woven into the clothing. 30 micro-actuators receive the musical sounds wirelessly and transform the data to haptic feedback in realtime. Violins could be felt on the arms, while drums can be recreated on the back for instance.
But this is no cumbersome piece of clothing. It is in fact made of soft stretch material, and contains no wires. Apparently all the conductive pathways are made from woven conductive textiles that are integrated into the fabric of the garment.
Those patterns you see on the clothing are representative of the relationship between the sound waves different frequencies, but they aren't part of the electronics.
What's interesting about this is not just that it is an incredibly innovative way to allow deaf people to enjoy the subtle details and nuance of music, but that it has applications in gaming and other areas too. Not just for the hard of hearing. The underlying electronics connectivity is only the start of the 'smart clothing' revolution that is bound to hit us at some point in the near future.
Already Cute Circuit has previously produced the Galaxy Dress, the world's largest wearable LED display, and even a running jacket with embedded LEDs.