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The VEST says listen to your gut
Sanshey Biswas  20th Sep 2014

While people worry about their iCloud and Gmail passwords, Dr David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, togeather with his graduate student, Scott Novich, are trying to hack the human brain. The human brain recognises sound through a process involving the transformation of vibrations into electric impulses that the brain processes for music, speech or noise. The Vibrotactile Extra-Sensory Transducer, or VEST, being developed by them is a sensory system replacement that takes in sound via a cell phone's microphone and translates it into a series of vibrations along the vest that you put on your torso, under the shirt. Their research has shown that after two to three weeks of usage, the deaf individuals developed a perception of hearing. Being comparitively cheaper than the conventional solutions such as cochlear implants, the team has started a Kickstarter campaign to make the vest more advanced and comfortable.

Having developed a prototype and algorithm that's had positive results, the next step would be to test it with individuals over different age groups and conditions. Even though using the vest to hear music would be a farfetched goal, they are quite optimistic about the possibilities.

 
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