The shirt for the deaf

With violins on your arms, drums on your back: read here how the smart Sound Shirt enables deaf people to enjoy a live concert.

Thanks to smart technology, sounds are converted into data which is then passed on to the Sound Shirt in real time. This means that wearers of the smart top can feel live music as tactile pulses against their body and discover a piece of music in a totally new way. In this way, the shirt enables deaf people to experience live concerts.

The Sound Shirt was invented by CuteCircuit, a company specialised in smart textiles that thinks that the human body will provide an interface for accessing data in the near future. As such, clothes will become a smart second skin, enabling people to connect intuitively and privately with each other. With the Sound Shirt, you are connected to the musical experience by sensors integrated into the garment. This means that at a classical concert you experience the violins through your arms and the drums through your back. Sensors translate the sound in real-time to a tactile composition which is unique for every piece of music played.


In a project with the Junge Symphoniker of Hamburg in 2016, CuteCircuit showed that music can be made available to everyone. This is also when this video  demonstrating just how the hi-tech fabric works was shot.


The Sound Shirt is made of an OEKOTEX-certificated stretch fabric. It is wireless and accessed by the software using a USB interface. The shirt design serves as a metaphor for the relationship between vibrations and sound waves.



CuteCircuit is a pioneer in the field of stylish wearable technology. The company specialises in combining futuristic fashion design and future technologies in smart materials connected by interactive functions. If you would are interested, you can arrange an appointment at CuteCircuit’s London headquarters to try out the Sound Shirt for a fee of £15 – coffee and biscuits are included.


Images and video: CuteCircuit