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Jessie Ware wants wearable tech for deaf fans in all live music venues


Jessie Ware has called for brand new wearable technology that enables deaf and hard-of-hearing people to experience live music like other fans to be made available in every venue.

Revellers on the Mighty Hoopla festival in London’s Brockwell Park, where singer-songwriter Ware performed earlier this month, were the primary to check out the 5G-enabled haptic harness.

The technology, from Vodafone, allows fans to feel the music through vibrations, delivered by 24 touch points across the harness to offer a multi-sensory experience.

Ware, 37, who headlines The Park stage at Glastonbury next weekend, told the PA news agency the probabilities felt “limitless” and she or he was “excited for the longer term”.

She said of the trial: “I used to be very, very honoured to be an element of that and for that to be happening.

“For me, it’s really vital that my shows could be as inclusive as possible.

“And for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who have felt isolated with their experience of live music, I feel the special thing about these suits is that not only are you having the ability to feel the vibrations of the music, but you’re also feeling the vibrations of the audience.

“Subsequently you’re fully immersed within the festival – and that’s what festivals are about, togetherness. And music is about that too, and being together and experiencing this moment together.

“For those two to have the option to speak together for deaf and hard of hearing people, I feel that was what seemed much more special about this, from what I gather for them.

“It was just really exciting and I loved being an element of it.”

Music fans with limited hearing who attend festivals will often depend on lip reading and vibrations from the speakers to attach with performers, but this entails them getting very near the stage.

Vodafone partnered with Music Not Unattainable to develop the harnesses, which mixes the corporate’s haptic technology with Vodafone’s low-latency 5G network.

Ware said the technology might be rolled out across the whole music industry.

She said: “It’s great and it’s really big steps. The following step is now for these to be available in every type of venue.

“I don’t know the way that may work out but that can be the following step in order that it could possibly proceed and so they are included.”

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