Music is an experience that everyone should have. As the Official Connectivity Partner of Mighty Hoopla Festival in London, Vodafone wanted to use the power of its 5G network to promote accessibility and inclusion for all. So working with Fuse and Music: Not Impossible, we combined cutting-edge haptic and AI technology with their 5G connection to enable deaf and hard-of-hearing audience members to feel live music in a completely new way.
We developed an innovative haptic suit experience that translates sound from the stage into vibrational sensations that can be felt all over the body so that deaf and hard of hearing fans could feel every beat of their favourite songs. The bespoke wearable suits, each fitted with 24 sensors, sent beat-synced vibrations across the users’ torsos, shoulders, wrists and ankles for a full body festival experience like no other. With adaptable vibration levels, each user could tailor the strength of the experience to suit their individual preferences and requirements.
As well as the sounds on stage, we also captured crowd reactions which were fed back into the suits in real-time and strategically mapped to the body to convey changes in crowd energy, emotion and intensity – allowing deaf and hard of hearing fans to soak up the whole festival atmosphere in a world-first technological feat.
What makes this experience truly innovative is the development of additional software to capture and translate crowd noise as well as the sounds from on stage. Using 5G receptors, we were able to pick up crowd reactions – cheers, screams etc – as audio recordings. We then translated these audio feeds into vibrational data in real time for the first time ever via machine learning (an AI technique). These vibrations were strategically mapped to the body via the haptic suits to reflect changes in crowd energy, emotion and intensity – allowing deaf and hard of hearing fans to soak up and feel the whole festival atmosphere in a world-first technological feat.
This was the ultimate live music experience facilitated by cutting-edge, guest-facing technology. Innovation allows us to solve problems for audiences and give them experiences that they have never been able to have before. The innovative combination of haptic technology and machine learning in this project allowed us to bring sound and crowd together for deaf and hard of hearing fans for the first time ever; this not only acted as a huge driver for inclusivity, but also provided this community with the solution they needed to enjoy the full festival experience.