While most of us are familiar with emoticons, those expressive little bits of smiling punctuation, it's likely few have heard of "Emoti-Chairs." These newly developed technological aids translate music into a series of tactile sensations, including vibrating and, perhaps most importantly, rocking, and are used to help the deaf feel the emotions music can provide.
Now, for the first time, these so-called Emoti-Chairs will be introduced into a live music setting. As part of new music presentation, Ryerson University's Centre of Learning Technology and the Science of Music, Auditory Research and Technology Lab will hold what it is dubbing the first-ever concert accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing. Through Emoti-Chairs, music visualization, open captioning and interpreters, the epic folk rock sounds of Barrie, ON's Fox Jaws and others will be brought to those who have primarily been robbed of the live music experience.
Everyone is invited to take part in this technologically enhanced performance and try out the Emoti-Chairs, which are the result of the Alternative Sensory Information Displays (ASID) project. Controlled by computer, the chairs come as part of the ASID's focus to explore alternative methods of presenting sensory information to the hearing impaired. There are three types of audio included in the project: music, background or environmental sounds, and speech patterns and intonation. To get more more information, you can visit the ASID project's website here.
The concert takes place on March 5 at Clinton's Tavern (696 Bloor St. West) in Toronto at 8 p.m., and along with Fox Jaws, the show will feature performances by ill.Gates, Treestar, the Dufraines, Hollywood Swank and DJ Stephane Vera.
Fox Jaws "Warm Winter Coats" (live)