Buzz is a wristband with a built-in microphone that turns sounds into vibrations. Someone who may not be able to hear the sounds around them will be able to feel alarms, sirens, music, and more.
Much of the awareness of surroundings comes from sound. Someone suffering from hearing loss and deafness typically struggles with vocal conversations, but other sounds are also affected. They can’t hear cars coming, dogs barking, water running, alarms, and many other noises that inform people of what’s happening around them. According to the World Health Organisation, 5% of the world’s population suffers from disabling hearing loss. Whilst cochlear implants can help some people, the impact on day-to-day life from hearing loss is significant.
Neosensory has developed a wearable that converts sound into feeling. The wristband, called Buzz, is a hypoallergenic silicone band with four vibrating motors inside. The microphone picks up all the noises around the wearer and translates them into four billion possible vibration combinations. The microphone’s sensitivity is completely adjustable, so the wearer can make it more or less sensitive depending on their preferences.
Users can select from sleep mode, everyday mode, and music mode. Sleeping mode filters out background noises like snoring, and only alerts the wearer of emergency sounds or when it’s time to wake up. Everyday mode adjusts to the wearer’s surroundings and blocks out unnecessary information like an air conditioner running. Music mode means the wearer no longer has to rely on vibrations directly from the speaker to follow the beat; instead, Buzz will let them feel the music through the wrist band.
Being able to feel sounds when hearing them isn’t possible is also important to keep the wearer safe. With Buzz, they can feel sirens, people yelling, alarms, phones ringing, and much more.