This article interested me in the company Neosensory and the release of their new device called Buzz. It’s supposed to be available in early 2020.
I was prompted to either subscribe or sign in to the WSJ to read the article, but the first few sentences give a hint as to the drift: when sound is present (be it ambient or speech) the wristband would buzz, vibrate or throb accordingly.
Hm. OK. My 2-cents’ worth: I have an alarm clock that is absolutely VITAL to waking me up, cuz it vibrates like a 6.0 earthquake when the alarm goes off. I put it under my pillow and VOILA! No prob with its waking me up.
However. I have come to so DREAD that vibration that I almost always manage to wake up before the vibrating begins, LOL! So I guess I’d be one UTTERLY, WOODENLY deaf person who might decline a vibrating wristband.
But then I wear fabulous aids which help me hear SO much that I wouldn’t feel the need for the wristband. It could be I’m missing something, but as I was only able to read the opening paragraph to the story, I’m just guessing here.
Oh shoot I wish you were able to view the article. I think that using the skin to transmit sound through vibrations as an assistive device is a novel idea. Here’s a link to the website https://neosensory.com/
Also linking to his TED talk David Eagleman: Can we create new senses for humans? | TED Talk
Under-used, yes. Not novel. Long before electric aids, some people used a mouth-board, which caught nearby sounds and transmitted both to teeth (bone conduction) and to tongue (“skin”). I have also seen pre-CI devices wired to an array of vibrators or electrodes pressed on skin (typically near ear; that may not be optimum but seems logical). Somewhere I saw the same idea on tongue (awkward but tongue is sensitive).
FWIW, profoundly blind people useXXX used an array of vibrators to read books from a camera via their fingers. Also: Optacon. Not just text (there’s Braille but that supposes the book is already translated) but I have seen it done with sheet music (apparently no Braille for music; or not much already transcribed). Such arrays could be wired to a CI-like sound pre-processor. We may be over-impressed with the apparent simplicity of putting a many-element wire inside the cochlear and overlooking less intrusive schemes.
Yes, I’m aware of some of those earlier and current technologies. Thanks for your reply. It makes me happy to see technology companies working on new devices for the hearing impaired. I’ll be interested to hear reviews once the device launches.