The haptic suit provides a way for everyone — hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf — to experience music in a completely new way by using vibrations.
Not Impossible Labs (NIL) is the company behind the new design. They live by a simple statement; “Nothing is impossible forever.”
NIL has a track record of overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges.
The haptic suit is the brainchild of their Music: Not Impossible program.
“Haptic feedback” is communication through the use of touch. When we feel the sensation of touch, it is a response from our bodies Somatosensory system.
This system is made up of at least 12 known receptors throughout the body and each one sends different information to the brain. Haptic technology utilizes these receptors to initiate different neural responses.
Essentially, music can be translated through the skin by using vibrations.
The technology is not necessarily new. Many smartphones utilize haptic touch; when you long-press the screen on an iPhone you receive a slight vibration that lets you know the phone is responding.
Some virtual reality tech also utilizes haptic feedback to simulate touch and other sensations in the virtual world.
NIL’s haptic suit is unique because it was designed specifically for live musical performance.
Although their project was aimed to foster inclusivity for the deaf and hard of hearing, it doesn’t exclude others in the process. The haptic suit is intended to enhance the live entertainment experience for everyone involved.
Daniel Belquer, the team’s director of technology states that “It’s not just about the experience. It’s about the community. Deep down in the core of this whole concept, it’s about how we can be humans together.”
Check out this video to see the suit in action.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on more amazing projects coming out of Not Impossible Labs in the future.