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New wearable tech lets users listen to live music through their skin

Baku, November 27, AZERTAC

Back in September, 200 music fans gathered at the Bunkhouse Saloon in downtown Las Vegas for a private live concert with a unique twist: several of the fans were deaf, according to Arstechnica.com. The concert served as a beta test for new wearable technology that allows deaf and hearing users alike to experience musical vibrations through their skin for a true "surround body" experience.

The tech is called Music: Not Impossible (M:NI), and it's the brainchild of former Hollywood producer turned entrepreneur Mick Ebeling, founder and CEO of Not Impossible Labs. The user's kit includes two battery-powered wristbands, two ankle bands, and a harness that fits across the back and shoulders. It interfaces directly with a venue's sound system and sends electrical pulses (coordinated with colored LED lights) corresponding to various tracks in the music to the sensors against the skin. Lady Gaga, Hans Zimmer, and Pharrell are fans, with the latter declaring he had "felt the future" after trying M:NI out. The Las Vegas show was presented by Zappos Adaptive and the Church of Rock & Roll.

Eberling got the idea for M:NI after noticing how deaf concertgoers would position themselves in front of the speakers, the better to absorb the vibrations. This struck him as an inferior way to experience live music. "It's all the low-end sound," he said. "You don't get the chance to experience any of the fidelity or the acute high ends or other variances that make music magical."

He pondered whether there was a way to bypass the ears and hack the brain, so to speak—the true source of our sensory experience. The skin is the largest organ in the human body. So why not tap into that?

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