Bit-N Music is a revolutionary audio project that brings a unique way to let hearing-impaired experience music. Using bone conduction technology to make a set of audio wear for deaf people, designer Noelia Martin crafted Bit-N Music — a project seeking a new way to experience music.
This new tool aims at the inclusion of deaf people — who are suffering from conductive hearing loss — into society with the innovation in health tech. As it’s based on bone technology, it enables sound to travel directly to the cochlea, not via the eardrum or ear. This is how even the deaf can enjoy music and become part of the music community.
The project is basically for people with unilateral or conductive deafness. However, it works for people with hearing impairments but an intact cochlea. Using this device, they can easily listen to music, movies, conversation, etc.
How does Bit-N Music Lollipop work?
Bit-N-Music Lollipop work based on bone conduction principle. It delivers sound directly, through teeth and connecting bones, to the cochlea and bypassing ear canal, ear drum and tympanic membrane.
Feel the music in your bones with Bit-N Music
Bit-N Music comes in the form of a lollipop that plugs into a smartphone, computer, or tablet. And when bitten, it further emits vibrations passing through the teeth. The emitted vibrations travel through the skull bones to the auditory nerve and skull. This is how the user can listen to music and other broadcasts on a smartphone, computer, or tablet.
Since bones transmits sounds at quite low frequencies compared to air, our voices sound higher than we expect while listening to our recordings. Even scuba divers use hearing aids based on bone conduction to hear sounds underwater.
Also read: This Battery-Free Hearing Aid Mirrors Cochlea’s Function
Mouthpiece hearing aid prototype
Initially created as a prototype, Bit-N Music consists of three main components: a mouthpiece, a pair of headphones, and a connector jack. At the prototype phase, Martin asked peers to test this innovative audio wear.
It’s indeed an extraordinary experimental project offering an auditory product, which depends first and foremost on human bodies. It further naturally adapts to produce quality sound that effortlessly resonates with an individual’s inner ear. That’s how the device generates a space for dialogue between deaf people and music.
Elisava Award winner project
Every year Elisava Barcelona School of Design and Engineering (part of the University of Vic — Central University of Catalonia) presents their student projects to companies, institutes, and NGOs. It’s done to transfer knowledge and overcome existing and future challenges in society.
This year, three of their student projects, including BIT-N Music, were presented. It is the Final Degree Project of Noelia Martín, a 4th-year student of Elisava’s Degree in Design. Due to its innovation and support to hearing-impaired people, the project has been awarded the Chamber Talent Award in the category of Technological Innovation. This award was given by the Talentum XXI Foundation.