People with hearing disabilities can listen to sound by using devices such as a surgically implanted neuroprosthetic device. Because such devices convert sound to digital signals that directly stimulate the auditory nerve, it is hard for the hearing-impaired to feel the low and high pitches of sounds.
The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) said that its research team has developed a wearable system that would convert sound into tactile sensation patterns to stimulate certain parts of the body such as the fingers of the wearer.
ETRI said the wearable sound-reading system will help the hearing-impaired to engage in musical activities that would help the disabled to better understand spoken language and sound. The system, in forms of a wearable armband or a pair of gloves, detects the wavelengths, or pitches, of sound to convert it to digital signals such as vibration to stimulate different finger nodes.
The researchers said that through a series of field tests, participants with hearing disabilities were able to speak in preferred voice tones up to three times more accurately using the new sound-reading system.
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