Skip links
CuteCircuit - Materially

Sound shirt

Wearable technologies refer to those smart devices that are used by humans and interact directly with their body with which they are in contact. Research in this field is constantly growing thanks to the fact that wearable technologies have become increasingly present in everyday life and more and more people have started to buy them (market growth: + 14% in 2020 – Ansa. it).

CuteCircuitPhoto: courtesy CuteCircuit

CuteCircuit is a London-based fashion company, founded in 2004 by Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz. The company specializes in the creation of electronic garments and has developed a ready-to-wear collection that includes pieces made with laser-cut reflective materials, 3D digital printing and smart fabrics.

Among these items is SoundShirt, a t-shirt and a wearable tactile device which allows deaf people to hear music on their skin thanks to the tactile sensors integrated into the material. SoundShirt is equipped with 30 microactuators built into the fabric, which translate the sound in real time into a unique tactile language for each piece of music performed.


sound shirt wearable technologiesPhoto: courtesy CuteCircuit

The Sound Shirt is characterized by a high resolution digital print of the fabric: “The design of the shirt is a metaphor for the relationship between vibrations and sound waves that are modulated in different frequencies” says CuteCircuit.

 sound shirt wearable technologies

Photo: courtesy CuteCircuit

Ryan Genz & Francesca Rosella, co-founders of the company, gave the audience a live demonstration of ‘The SoundShirt’ at ‘The Future is Sound‘ in April 2020. 


wearable technologiesPhoto: courtesy CuteCircuit

Here’s how it works: the sound of eight different types of instruments is picked up by the microphones on stage, a software translates the sound into data and data is sent, without the use of wires, to the Sound Shirt.

“In this way the violins can be felt on the arms and the bass on the back, creating a completely immersive sensation for a deaf audience. Basically, the whole composition comes to life, like a language composed of a series of tactile sensations on the person’s skin when wearing the shirt “.

Leave a comment