Frederik Podzuweit is young German industrial designer, skilled in both 3D and 2D visualizations. These abilities, coupled with a healthy dose of futuristic forethought led him to create his "music for deaf people" device, a collar which translates sound into vibration, allowing the user to actually "feel" the music to a far greater degree.
Traditional thinking has always assumed that those with less than optimal hearing capabilities could simply not benefit from music in the same way as the rest of the constantly noise-bombarded population, despite the oft-cited bit of trivia that Beethoven himself was deaf.
Not one to conform, Frederik created his new concept collar, which would allow a special membrane substance to expand and contract based on the electrical impulses sent to it. These impulses would be determined by the pace and volume of the music being played through the device. This, in turn, would produce a series of vibrations along the collarbones, shoulders and back of the neck for the "listener". In Frederik's design, Bass sounds would be routed to the back of the neck, the mid-range near the shoulders and the treble across the collarbone.
Music collar for the hearing impaired: the expanding membrane
In his visualization, the device would also have MP3 and AM/FM radio capabilities, giving it the same functionality available to ear-focused technologies.
Studies into the sound experiences of the hearing impaired have led to the conclusion that while the notes cannot be heard, the tactile sensations produced by the resonance and beat of the music are felt in an entirely different way than those who listen in the "typical" manner.
Though the collar is still in the design stage, it has the possibility to act as a functional and technologically forward-thinking device to allow the same freedom of musical enjoyment to the deaf that sound-based users have regular access to.
Plus, it just looks damn cool.