SoundShirt Lets The Hearing Impaired Enjoy Music in Real Time

Cute Circuit, a London based fashion company founded in 2004 by Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz, has come up with a unique device called the SoundShirt.

As the name suggests, it is a shirt that translates sound into a haptic sensation in real-time. The shirt has 16 micro-actuators built into the material which enables the hearing impaired to feel the music on their torso.

This wearable is derived from the world’s first haptic telecommunication wearable, the hug shirt, that received plenty of awards including the 1st Prize at Cyberart Bilbao Conference in 2004 and UKTI Mobile World Congress Showcase in 2009.

Materials Used

To keep the wearable comfortable, Cute Circuit has used stretchy smart textiles. The material used is embedded with conductive pathways, hence, there is no need for external wiring. These conductive pathways are made using woven conductive textiles.

As far as the exterior of the shirt is concerned, it has high-resolution digital fabric to give it a design that represents the relationship between sound and vibrations.

According to Cute Circuit,

The connecting lines also serve as a tacit diagram of the underlying data network, stretchable micro-electronic circuitry, and 3D printed details, present within the garment and otherwise invisible, that control the plurality of different actuators inside the SoundShirt.


The SoundShirt is currently available on Cure Circuit’s official store in four packages.

  1. SoundShirt 2.0 DEV KIT (for music and game developers) at £3,000
  2. SoundShirt 2.0 (Museums package) at £9,500
  3. SoundShirt 2.0 (Orchestras package) at £11,000
  4. Extra SoundShirt 2.0 (for Orchestras or Museums package) at £1,500

You can also hang out at the Cute Circuit outlet and try the shirt on for £15.

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