In a recent article entitled, “New Tech Allows Deaf People to Sense Sounds,” Futurism features Neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman’s new technology called the Versatile Extra-Sensory Traducer (VEST). With the help from Scott Novich and his team at Rice University, VEST uses the senses of touch to help the deaf ‘hear’ again.
The VEST was inspired by the study of Neuroplasticity – which is “the idea that the brain constantly changes throughout individual’s whole lifespan and can reconnect its neurons to other neurons.” With 28 million adults in the U.S. that could benefit from hearing aids, the VEST can only be described as disruptive technology destined to change how people with disabilities “perceive the world.”
Using Sensory Substitution, which is the technique “that takes over the function of a damaged sensory organ by feeding information to another sensory organ,” Eagleman created wearable technology that transforms sound into touch. The real magic takes place when sound makes the motors on the VEST vibrate and after going through a microcontroller, the data transforms into “intricate vibrations that a person can feel.” This cyclical process is what turns sounds into a something that can be felt – then understood.
The possibilities are endless with this groundbreaking technology. Here are just a few examples of hi-tech gadgets that could instantly benefit from Eagleman’s technology:
Zungle Panther is a set of audio shades with built-in bone conduction speakers. The bone conductor speaker technology transmits sound waves to the listener’s skull via vibrations. This allows for a personalized listening experience and at the same time, keeps your ears free from headphones or ear buds. So in other words, you’re connected to the world around you and still able to crank Pandora playlists straight out of the powerful speakers coming out of your audio shades.
Human Inc.’s Sound is the world’s first comfortable pair of smart headphones. With features that include biometric monitoring, language translation, and touch command, Human’s Sound fits perfectly in the category of “disruptive technology”. These are no ordinary headphones. They are the future of how you hear, share and connect with your world. Inspired by the human body and compatible with iOS/Android, Sound has a touch control system (Capacitive Touch) and comes with a growing list of multi-functional software applications.
Here One™ is the first all-in-one, truly wireless listening system. With two smart buds and a connected app, you can stream music, take phone calls, reduce unwanted noise, amplify speech, access Siri and Google Now, and more. Selectively choose what you want to hear and remove what you don’t. Everything else is just a headphone.