For my emerging technology project in OT 842, I discuss an emerging technology that allows individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing (HOH) to experience sound as a vibration through the skin.
Ryerson University have completed a research initiative exploring ways of making sound and music more accessible to all people, regardless of hearing ability.
When individuals who are deaf or HOH want to listen to music, they “feel” vibrations. They do this by placing their hands on the speakers or a musical instrument and allowing the vibrations to move through their body. However, many of the frequencies and details of the music are masked, as often the lower frequency vibrations dominate the higher frequency vibrations. Because of this, the deaf or HOH population do not get to experience the intricacies and details of the musical vibrations.
As a response, researchers at Ryerson have created the emoti-chair which allows the user to feel all the different frequencies and vibrations of the song. This is an attempt to turn our body into a hearing organ.
Take a look at my handout for further detail and possible application of The Emotichair to OT practice