Ontenna is a wearable that aims to help the quality of life of the hearing impaired, thanks to a haptic feedback.
As we see in the picture, the person can carry the device as an accessory, as it is integrated into a hair buckle. So its function, is unnoticed by the naked eye for the rest of the people.
This device has an integrated microphone that picks up the sounds that are generated in the user’s environment.
Then the sound pressure conversion is done, which are transmitted by the vibration levels and the intensity of the light. From these sound patterns, users can perceive what is happening around them.
One detail to keep in mind is that it does not seek to replace hearing aids, since its dynamics do not help people listen, but rather provide “sensations” of the world around them.
According to the plans of its creators, it is a new interesting proposal, which will evolve over time and gradually may start covering more functions.
Currently the basic function of Ontenna is that it vibrates when a sound is heard. It doesn’t differentiate in sound yet so it works better in quite environment. For example, if someone is sitting at home and the door bell is rung then the device will start vibrating to the doorbell ring and therefore alert the user about the sound. In addition it is a wearable device, which looks good and no one other than the user has to know what it actually is as it looks like a hair clip, which is another one although less technical functionality of this Ontenna device.
The video shows the dynamics proposed by Ontenna:
More details of this initiative and its plans for the future are given on the Ontenna page.