Her(t)z is a system that enables the user to orientate during everyday movement by means of vibration.

Normally it is completely impossible for people suffering from hearing loss or even deafness to perceive the sounds of approaching cars, bicycles, etc. The system is designed to help them find their way around. Moving around in public places is therefore often a difficult and dangerous task.

The examination of auditory perception (sense of hearing), the sensory perception of sound by means of sensory organs, served as the starting point for this problem. It is not always bound to the ears. Vibrations in particular can also be perceived by other sensory organs on corresponding parts of the body. The vibration becomes particularly clear in areas of the body that are close to the bone. Here we are particularly sensitive. With the help of the so-called Gecko tape, vibration modules are placed on these specific areas. They serve for orientation and show the direction from which an object moves towards us, as well as the distance to the object. The closer the object, the stronger the vibration. All objects are localized with the help of the auricle, which does not lose its function, directional hearing, despite a hearing loss or situations of “not hearing”. The sound source is recorded using a microphone and an ultrasonic distance sensor.

In short: the auricle serves as a sound receiver and the vibration modules as an impulse or signal generator.

Miriam Schmitt /
Prof. Frank Zebner

Diploma 2014 / 2015