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For the Deaf, Music is Not Impossible

Thursday, September 27, 2018 2:44 pm MST

It feels like donning a hydration pack and four smart watches on your wrists and ankles. Then, the music starts, and all down your body vibrations start to pick up the bass. Then the hi-hat. Then the melodies and more. You can’t help but move to the beat—even if you’ve never been able to hear music. It’s pulsing against your skin.

This is the experience of wearing Music: Not Impossible, a product that allows deaf and hearing concert-goers alike to literally feel live music through advanced vibration technology. Avnet and Not Impossible Labs revealed Music: Not Impossible at a first-of-its kind live concert at the 2018 Life Is Beautiful music festival in Las Vegas this past weekend, aligned with the celebration of National Deaf Awareness Month in September, and International Week of the Deaf which began on Sunday.

This has been the Not Impossible team’s dream for five years: to revolutionize live music, and, in turn, bring it to the deaf community, an audience who had traditionally found it inaccessible. Many members of the deaf community thoroughly enjoy music, often through vibrations and very talented interpreters, but they have to get creative about how they get closer to the experience since it’s not often provided for them. Music: Not Impossible breaks down those barriers and enables everyone, deaf and hearing alike, access to a more enhanced and personal experience through musical vibrations.

It’s a dream of accessibility and inclusion that has turned into one of the most complex wearables on the market, leveraging IoT connectivity and vibration technology through two dozen sensors across the body, spread across five distinct pieces. Despite the complexity, this weekend’s major milestone of getting prototypes to hundreds of concert-goers at a rock show in the desert took only five months—because Avnet is guiding Not Impossible Labs through the product development process.

“Avnet’s ongoing support has brought Not Impossible Labs’ work to the next level. This partnership allows us to focus on Not Impossible Labs’ highest and best purpose: inventing solutions to the world’s ‘absurdities’ with confidence that our creations won’t languish on a back-office shelf – Avnet will help bring our dreams to ‘Help Many’ to life,” said Mick Ebeling, founder and CEO of Not Impossible Labs.

To learn more about how the technology works and its reveal at Life is Beautiful, check out our videos from the world premiere in Las Vegas. 

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Experiencing the music with Music: Not Impossible