Conventional hearing aids come with a lot of short comings. Loud noises making the wearer feel irritable, the awkwardness of wearing bigger sized hearing aids and many more. The CLOSE is an attempt at an alternative system to provide speech input to the hearing impaired by means of tactile sensations.
Fashioned like a stylish smart watch, CLOSE has been claimed to possess the capability to analyze and convert auditory signals into tactile sensations. It aims to achieve tactile communication by means of electrode arrays that simulates the feeling of touch on the wrist. The designers are confident that human brain could decipher these tactile inputs into speech patterns. CLOSE can also share information with a smartphone via Bluetooth linking.
The CLOSE concept would be a great invention if it could work perfectly as claimed by the designers. Because, not only can this be an alternative to hearing aids, but also help people with cochlear damage and zero hearing abilities.
Designers: Zhengmu Fang, Liang Wenshan & Liu Junming