This fab­ric sounds good!

Edmonton Sun - - COFFEE BREAK -

LON­DON — Twin sis­ters Her­mon and Heroda Ber­hane love danc­ing but can’t hear the mu­sic be­cause they’re both deaf, so the in­ven­tion of a jacket with sen­sors that en­ables them to feel the dif­fer­ent sounds has trans­formed their nights out in Lon­don clubs.

The “Sound Shirt,” cre­ated by Lon­don-based fash­ion com­pany Cutecir­cuit, has 16 sen­sors em­bed­ded in its fab­ric, so wear­ers can feel vi­o­lins on their arms, for ex­am­ple, while drums beat on their backs.

The Ber­hane twins, who lost their hear­ing at a young age, say mod­el­ling the shirts has given them a brand-new ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It’s al­most like feel­ing the depth of the mu­sic,” says Her­mon. “It just feels as though we can move along with it.”

Francesca Rosella, co-founder and chief cre­ative of­fi­cer of Cutecir­cuit, which de­signs fash­ion wear­able tech­nol­ogy, said the shirts al­lowed deaf peo­ple to feel mu­sic through sen­sa­tions.

“Inside the shirt — that by the way is com­pletely tex­tiles, there are no wires inside, so we’re only us­ing smart fab­rics — we have a com­bi­na­tion of mi­cro­elec­tron­ics ... very thin and flex­i­ble, and con­duc­tive fab­rics,” she said. “All these lit­tle elec­tronic mo­tors are con­nected with these con­duc­tive fab­rics so that the gar­ment is soft and stretch­able.”

Sound Shirts don’t come cheap, as they’re ex­pected to go on sale at more than £3,000 ($3,673 US), but Heroda be­lieves it’s a price worth pay­ing for deaf peo­ple who en­joy mu­sic as much as she and her sis­ter do.

“I think it could def­i­nitely change our lives,” she said.

The Ber­hane twins, who are both deaf, wear hi-tech jack­ets that al­low them to feel the mu­sic.

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