Here’s something different . . .
Interesting concept @billgem, it would be even more interesting if we had some user’s on here…. Thank you for the link, cheers Kev
Yes, it would be nice if there are any users out there. I’m particularly wondering how this works in conjunction with a hearing aid.
I’m in contact with their science director and will be trying it
Can’t see how the timing of vibration (with words) can be processed fast enough to deceiver what someone is saying. Especially in rapid fire communication, group settings, background noise etc. Then there’s the distance factor between wristband and the other person(s) talking. Think we could possibly be selling snake oil here, so watch your pennies.
I’m looking forward to your report!
@Neville Curious of your take. Seems like snakeoil, but has an air of plausibility (which any good snakeoil does)
I did find this: Neosensory Buzz: can a wristband really help with sound awareness and tinnitus? | ENT & Audiology News
Seems almost implausible enough to be plausible?
Exactly! :>) :>) :>)
I’m thinking that it’s greatest potential is in combination with hearing aids for those whose hearing aids still leave them missing some sounds.
Not so implausible to me. Sensory substitution has merit. Research is ongoing, and I think the most robust area is probably in providing various sensory alternatives for individuals who are blind. I’ve seen some interesting stuff about converting video to audio so that people can learn to ‘see’ the world by hearing it, or likewise through tactile stimulation to the back or the tongue. It’s neat stuff. Currently it seems to requires considerable training to get limited function.
Where it gets snake-oily is when it takes one vaguely positive study and inflates the marketting claims to sell a $1000 device. Or takes a body of work on some more complex devices using different stimulation in different areas and claims that it can get the same results with a wristband. I expect that the environmental awareness component may be more realistic than the tinnitus component. Some of the claims that they are making on the environmental awareness front is that people with hearing loss wearing the device become aware of sounds in the environment that they are missing (cuz their wrist buzzes) and then realize that they need hearing aids. Okay. I would expect that with consistent wear and training, someone might be able to recognize sounds through the wrist band, but I have no idea how specifically and after how much training. On the tinnitus side, the literature is pretty weak. The research they cite is, again, very different from the wristband, and the one study with the wristband doesn’t show a clinically significant effect over the control group.
Sensory substitution is interesting enough to me that I personally tried to hunt out a device that would vibrate in response to the magnetic field and see whether there might be a cool trianing effect that persisted after I stopped wearing the device. But the device was some $5000. I feel that right now trying this stuff is worth the amount of money that I might spend ‘on a lark’, but not yet worth serious money. What that amount of money is is going to be different from person to person depending on their bank account. If someone here has $1000 of fun money laying about and is willing to commit to wearing a chunky wristband consistently for months, I’d be interested to hear about their experience.
So, in my estimation, not as snake-oily as acupuncture and it’s robust negative literature, but not really solid either.
I’m slightly struggling to see how it would overcome desensitisation or demodulate 5Khz bandwidth without causing ‘dead’ nerve patches on the skin.
If it ran the length of a forearm, I could potentially see that you could learn from a ‘scale’ of vibrating transducers.
Yeah. They claim ~250 virtual tactile locations that they can create with differential activation of the 4 motors. I’d have to look it up, but I didn’t think the tactile acuity of the wrist was THAT good. That’s why tactile sensors for visual input use the tongue or the entire back.
They seem to have some heavy-hitting audiologists on their medical advisory board. Not sure what this tells us though.