Music has the power to connect people through unforgettable experiences. As Official Connectivity Partner of Mighty Hoopla Festival, Vodafone’s ambition was to use the power of 5G and cutting-edge technology to elevate the British summer of entertainment making it accessible and inclusive for everyone.
Music festivals can often be exclusionary experiences for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, who often rely on lip reading and vibrations from stage speakers to enjoy performances, which is difficult if they can’t get close to stages.
Vodafone set out to find a solution and developed innovative 5G enabled haptic suits, launched this summer. The suits translated music outputs from artists performing on stage into a series of vibrations felt across the body, so that deaf and hard-of-hearing music fans could feel every beat. As well as the artist’s music, Vodafone recorded crowd reactions from the audience, which were fed back into the suits in real-time using Vodafone’s 5G network and translated using bespoke machine learning software. The combined vibrations were strategically mapped to the body and represented the crowd energy, which enabled deaf and hard-of-hearing fans to soak up the whole festival atmosphere in a world-first technological feat.
Vodafone invited members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community to experience the suits during sets from artists including Jessie Ware, Steps and Sugababes. The suits were a resounding success with fantastic feedback from participants with one saying it ‘made them feel like superman!’, as well as generating a 100% positive/neutral reaction to the content distributed post event.