A Prototype Device Can Now Let People Experience Music Through their Sense of Touch

TechnologyNetworks reports that people with hearing loss will be able to listen to music through the sense of touch thanks to a pioneering prototype that has been devised by researchers of the Department of Electronics at the University of Malaga, members of the R&D group “Electronics for instrumentation and systems.”

According to this report, the device consists of an audio-tactile algorithm that, by using “tactile illusions”, renders monophonic music into tangible stimuli based on vibration. “It’s like ‘hacking’ the nervous system to receive a different response to the real stimulus sent”, they say.

“What we want to achieve in the long term is for people who do not hear to be able to ‘listen’ to music”, assures the researcher of the PhD Program in Mechatronics Engineering Paul Remache, the main author of this paper, who insists on the power of music to influence mood, as well as its possibilities as a therapy for mental disorders and treatment of pain.

This would result in a portable terminal that could be brought to a concert, since this prototype, according to the researchers, will be easily transferable to technological devices such as cell phones.

“It’s something similar to mapping music”, explains Remache, who adds that this is possible because this type of file not only can be played and generate sound, but also provides “symbolic representations.”

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