Accessibility October 20, 2019
New ‘Sound Shirt’ jacket claims that deaf people can now experience music
London based sisters Hermon and Heroda Berhane who are deaf, have come up with a new ‘Sound Shirt’ that claims to help deaf people experience music. Created by London based Fashion Company ‘CuteCircuit’, the jacket has not yet been introduced to India. But if it does, will come at a huge price of over lakhs of rupees which is definitely not accessible to all.
For a deaf person, listening to music is impossible. But London based sisters Hermon and Heroda Berhane have come up with something innovative that claims to revolutionise the way deaf people experiences music. Their latest Sound Shirt, that has been created by CuteCircuit, a London based fashion company, is definitely catching a lot of attention.
Both the Berhane sisters had lost the ability to hear at a very young age. Since they were unable to experience the charm of music, the sisters decided to do something on their own so that other people from their community also gets a musical experience. That is what led them to create the ‘Sound Shirt’. It has not yet been introduced in India. But if it does, will cost a huge price. Reportedly, their price is over 3000 pound which means over Rs 27 lakhs.
Ruma Roka, Founder, Noida Deaf Society thinks that this is a great invention. But definitely not accessible to all.
It is great that mainstream companies are coming forward to include deaf people in all areas including education, jobs and now even music. But a majority of deaf people come from economically backward families and such improvements must be made cost-effective for them as well. Most of the deaf people have never had any access to music. They would understand music or even beats from a different perspective and it is all based on a presumption that this jacket is going to work-Ruma Roka, Founder, Noida Deaf Society.
Deaf people can experience music through sensations from the jacket. What makes it even more unique is that the entire apparel has been made with fabrics and no wires or other electronic equipment are attached to it so that the user can wear it comfortably. The device vibrate in sync with the music that is played owing to which they will get a full experience. The extremely thin and flexible microelectronics are what enables the user to experience music. For instance, the user can feel a deep bass on their stomach whereas the soft violin music can be felt on their arms.
“Honestly, I don’t think this idea would work at all because it only caters to a small fraction of music genre. Hence, it is not a feasible idea”, says Atharv Beloskar, a deaf student from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai.
For someone who loves to wear their dancing shoes and shake a leg to music, ‘Sound Shirt’ is definitely a great bet!
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