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Orchestra Uses Groundbreaking Technology to Open Concerts to Deaf and Hard of Hearing

By Michael Vincent on June 19, 2023

vibrating backpack
Damien Quintard , founder of SoundX, holding a special vibrating backpack.

The beat goes on… even if you can’t hear it.

The Philharmonie de Paris has partnered with SoundX to offer special vibrating backpacks to help deaf and hard-of-hearing concertgoers feel the music.

Vibrating backpacks

Starting from the 2023-2024 season, these high-tech backpacks, controlled by an app and powered by artificial intelligence, will be available for use. They’re designed to pick up on ambient sounds and translate them into vibrations, making it possible for wearers to feel the music​.

This isn’t the first time vibrating packs have been used in music events, but previous versions only translated the bass. The SoundX solution, however, will pick up frequencies up to 20,000 hertz, compared to the measly 100 hertz of older models. Basically, you’ll be able to feel more than just the bass drop​.

Best of all, these backpacks will be free to use….

…There’s no need for an individual phone to connect to the application because the Philharmonie will control the vibrating backpacks using a single tablet.

Big picture: This move by the Philharmonie de Paris is a leap forward in making music more accessible to everyone. By adapting shows for hearing disabilities, they’re ensuring that everyone, regardless of ability, can experience the magic of music. It’s a clear reminder of how technology can be harnessed to bring us closer to each other and the music we love.

Bonus: Heard of SoundX and Damien Quintard before? That’s probably because Quintard is the same guy who partnered with superstar actor Brad Pitt to open Miraval Studios, a newly rebuilt recording studio housed in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France. The studio also features an expansive winery and estate owned by Pitt and ex-wife Angelina Jolie.

Michael Vincent
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