A new wearable device, now available worldwide, is enabling people with hearing impairment to feel sounds on their skin.
The Neosensory Buzz looks like an Apple Watch or Fitbit and enables the wearer to feel water running, an alarm ringing, or someone calling their name. Developed by neuroscientists, Buzz turns sound into vibration that you can feel on your wrist and gives you another channel to experience sound by sending it directly to your brain via the sense of touch.
You can programme Buzz to suit your unique needs and it will adjust to your surroundings, cancelling out any noise you don’t want to hear. You can feel the beat of your favourite music, enabling you to enjoy it more. You can even tell Buzz what to alert you to and which vibration pattern to use.
While there’s a helpful safety element to the Buzz, the idea is that it works in conjunction with hearing aids and other assistive listening technology to give you a richer awareness of what’s happening in the world around you and to feel closer to the people in it.
A new model designed for people with high-frequency hearing loss is due out this year that will particularly help with speech and recognising those key sounds that are harder to detect with hearing loss.
Buzz is a very exciting development for people with hearing loss and we’re looking forward to seeing how this technology develops. If you get one, let us know your thoughts on this new wearable.