When we talk about music, it’s usually something we relate to being perceived by the ears. Music is an extraordinary sensation of being able to hear a flurry of sounds that come together in harmony. However, not all of us have this privilege.
Music for all
According to the World Health Organization, about 5% of the world has disabling hearing loss or deafness. They also estimate the by 2050, the number of deaf persons will increase to one in every ten people. The good news is, Avnet, with the help of Not Impossible Labs, has come up with something to involve them more in music.
Music: Not Impossible (MNI) is a set of equipment using Vibrotextile technology to allow you to feel the music around your whole body. The vibrations are sent wirelessly to the body through a harness, two wristbands, and two ankle bands; to give you that “surround body” experience. I think this is truly an innovative way of literally making people (deaf or not) dance to the groove.
Iterations of innovation
It’s not our first time to have deaf people included in enjoying and making music though. This development dates back to Beethoven, who would rest his head above his piano to feel the vibrations when he started to lose his hearing. In modern days, we have Mandy Harvey, who was Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer in America’s Got Talent 2017 and reached the 4th place of the competition. She was also an attendee in the launch video above.
She used to sing before she lost her hearing, and the transition it would take to still create music is truly inspiring. She took her shoes off during the performance to feel the tempo of the song through the floor. Imagine how much easier it would be for her now that MNI launched.
All of this is genuinely uplifting, and it means so much to see people included. MNI is truly something that could encourage more deaf people to attend concerts or gigs. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section down below!