Haptic Suits Developed By Philadelphia-based Music Help People Feel Music Through Their Skin

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Dancers wearing Haptic suits, designed by Philadelphia-based Music: Not Impossible.
Image via The New York Times.
New York City's Lincoln Center made the Music: Not Impossible haptic suits available at two of its silent disco nights earlier this summer.

Haptic suits, designed by Philadelphia-based Music: Not Impossible, help individuals who are deaf or have hearing loss feel the music through their skin, writes Sarah Bahr for The New York Times.

Music: Not Impossible suits, which can also be used by hearing individuals, were first tested a decade ago, but the technology has recently become more accessible to the public.

The devices were available at several major venues this summer, including at Lincoln Center in New York City for a silent disco night and a performance at Opera Philadelphia.

Two ankle bands, two wrist bands, and a backpack make up each suit. While similar devices have existed for several decades and have been used in video games and virtual reality, Music: Not Impossible suits are unique because they transform individual music notes into specific vibrations.

“With captioning and sign language interpretation, your brain is forced to be in more than one place at a time,” said Jay Alan Zimmerman, a deaf composer and musician. “With a haptic system, it can go directly to your body at the exact same moment, and there’s real potential for you to actually feel music in your body.”

Read more about haptic suites in The New York Times.

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