Prototype device allows users to listen to music through the sense of touch
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.
It 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.
The algorithm developed, is capable of converting musical features and structures extracted from —Musical Instrument Digital Interface files to "vibrotactile stimuli."
Current models do not warrant the correspondence between the emotional response to music and the vibrotactile version of it. In view of this, these engineers propose an arrangement of the "tactile illusions" in order to improve and extend the spectrum of musical features, adding dynamics to the vibration in the form of movement, changes of direction and location.