There’s just something about music that makes everyone fall in love with it, right? We all have that favorite jam that makes us move, no matter the mood we’re in. Even for those of us with two left feet, dancing is something to be adored; a source of joy and relaxation.
In truth, dance is a universal language, as evidenced by twin sisters Heroda and Hermon Berhane. These two young ladies are into dancing as anyone can be, but unfortunately, they are both deaf. Quite the conundrum, don’t you agree?
But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and CuteCircuit has just created a piece of tech that will aid the two along their musical journey. The invention is a jacket embedded with sensors enabling them to feel different kinds of sounds, and their night outs have been revolutionized.
Going by the name Sound Shirt, the fabric ensures that the wearer feels the violin in their arms, while beating drums are felt on their back. Thus far, the twins have been modeling these jackets, and they admit that the experience has been beyond their wildest dreams, considering that they lost their hearing when they were really young.
Specifically, Hermon says that the tech allows her to feel the music in its depth, making her feel as if it is part of her.
Francesca Rosella, the CuteCircuit co-founder and CEO says that the wearable piece of tech works for all deaf people, and not just for the twins. As she puts it, it allows them to experience music via sensations.
You’d think that the jacket has lots of wires on the inside, right? However, Rosella insists that there isn’t a single one in there. The jacket is all smart fabric consisting of microelectronics and flexible and thin conductive fiber. Electronic motors in the microelectronics connect seamlessly with the conductive fiber, making the garment stretchable and soft.
So, how much do you think this jacket is worth? It’s definitely a pricey piece of wearable tech, going for as much as $3,673. However, Heroda argues that it is worth every dollar, especially for the deaf who are as passionate about music as the sisters are.
CuteCircuit has been in business since 2004, co-founded by Rosella and Ryan Genz. These two also design every product that the company produces, and you better believe that they are masters of their craft.
After the release of their pioneer collection all those many years ago, John Thackara, renowned design critic, was all praises for Francesca Rosella, going as far as referring to her as “the Madonna of wearable computing.” That’s quite the accolade, don’t you think?
Of course, the company has released other cutting-edge wearables other than the Sound Shirt, with the Kinetic Dress leading the pack. Hitting the market in 2004, the dress was able to read the wearer’s mood, using whatever they were feeling to change its patterns.
The Hug Shirt was also another one-of-a-kind invention, recreating the sensation of a hug in the wearer. With this one, you can never complain of being lonely!
The M Dress came later in 2008, and this piece of fabric allows the user to insert a sim card and receive calls without having their regular device.