Avnet and Not Impossible Labs Enable the Deaf to Experience Live Music
The impossible became possible this weekend when a large group of people in the deaf community experienced a new way to enjoy live music. In the first product collaboration between Avnet (Nasdaq: AVT) and Not Impossible Labs, a wearable featuring Vibrotextile™ technology called Music: Not Impossible enabled this inclusive moment.
At an invitation-only event, concertgoers wore a lightweight vest, with wrist and ankle bands, that created an immersive sensory experience through musical vibrations on the skin. This sophisticated vibration technology enables the Music: Not Impossible product to create an inclusive, enhanced live music experience, where deaf and hearing concertgoers share a first-of-its-kind musical experience.
The new technology was unveiled during the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas at a special concert featuring rock band Greta Van Fleet. Presented by Zappos Adaptive and the Church of Rock & Roll, the event was held at the Bunkhouse Saloon. The introduction of Music: Not Impossible aligns with the celebration of National Deaf Awareness Month in September, and International Week of the Deaf which began on Sunday. The initiative is part of a multi-year partnership that combines Avnet’s product design and manufacturing expertise with Not Impossible’s mission to provide greater access to technology for the sake of humanity.
Through its unique end-to-end technology development ecosystem, Avnet engineering experts have been working with Not Impossible Labs to bring Music: Not Impossible to life, including helping with design, sourcing materials, and establishing a network for production.
“This is the first of several new innovations that we are excited to help Not Impossible Labs bring to life,” said Avnet CEO, Bill Amelio. “It was life-changing and exhilarating to see folks from the deaf community enjoying live music, but making this experience happen was a complex problem to solve. Leveraging our strong understanding of technology, design, production and manufacturing, we worked closely with Not Impossible to guide the process and ensure our collaboration would bring this technology to everyone. And this is only the beginning. We’re now working with Not Impossible on additional Vibrotextile TM products, extending beyond entertainment to therapy, communication and safety that will improve the lives of many.”
Music: Not Impossible is the brainchild of Mick Ebeling, founder and CEO, Not Impossible Labs, who established his organization to address “absurdities” in the world, including the inability of the deaf to experience live music. Ebeling and Daniel Belquer, director of technology, developed a working prototype and were thrilled with the initial reaction to it. To bring that new technology to a broader audience, they tapped into Avnet’s technology solutions expertise.
“Music Not Impossible is the future of music, for deaf and hearing audiences alike,” said Ebeling. “Avnet was instrumental in getting every one of the finished Music Not Impossible devices into the concert venue, where we celebrated a milestone in the history of our brand, and in the history of music as we know it. Avnet’s ongoing and unflinching support and expertise in product development and bringing products to market at scale enables us to continue focusing on creating innovative technology for the sake of humanity.”
As part of the concert experience, the audience included a mix of hearing and deaf individuals, donning the Music Not Impossible wearables. Once the band began playing, audience members were able to experience vibrations across different parts of their bodies, in sync with each of the instruments.
How the Technology Works
Music: Not Impossible is a wireless wearable system that creates zero-latency vibrations, in perfect synchronization with the music. Wearers may adjust the vibration levels, which are visually represented via colorful LED lights. During the live concert, artists may emphasize different elements of the music, so each live experience is mixed uniquely for the individual.
Through its unique end-to-end ecosystem, Avnet supports every stage of the product lifecycle by delivering design, product, marketing and supply chain expertise. This ecosystem, composed of small-scale specialists Premier Farnell and element14, design-focused Hackster.io, and manufacturing solution provider Dragon Innovation, reduces the time, cost and complexities of bringing products to market, and enables the Not Impossible’s mission of taking innovations from “one to many.”