Concept of a product for deaf dancers which indicates the beat, by recognizing it from running music and transferring it to the body


Deaf people who like to dance depend on elaborate assistance from hearing people to avoid asynchrony. Without this assistance, many deaf people can only follow the vibrations of strong bass. Typical dance music, such as salsa, is therefore difficult for them to perceive. For this reason, couple dancing becomes almost impossible. This is where tàct-il comes in. It makes the beat perceptible. Dance is a wonderful way to strengthen relationships or make new ones. In my experience, people are equal to each other when dancing – social positions become irrelevant. That is why I want to make couple dancing possible for deaf people as well. Those who feel the beat can learn figures and choreographies without having to hear the music. tàct-il is meant to make this possible in a simple way.

«Without his Cochlear implants Leo* doesn’t hear music at all. He can’t feel the bass neither. Except maybe when the music is very, very loud and the sound makes the floor or walls vibrate… But that is rarely the case. A wristband with a perceptible beat would be helpful for rehearsing a dance, he says. Otherwise, he as a deaf person really has to rely on visual signals of others. Like the sign choir he saw recently at the circus. The signers were fully focused on the non-deaf choir director which provided them the beat with her signs.»

Quote from a mother of a deaf son
*Name changed
Inspiration and theme for the concept:
Music displayed differently, interviews and reports, closure reinvented, intelligent textiles

Music touches

This product for deaf dancers indicates the beat, by recognizing it from running music and transferring it to the body. Once the lightweight textile strap is attached to the arm or leg and got connected via Bluetooth with the app, it is ready to be used. tàct-il is not only suitable for deaf people, it comes in handy for all beginners in dance and music, silent dancers, impro dancers, modern jazz, or in a broader sense, to train sign language.


  • Surfaces made of breathable textile
  • Discreet, slim and uniform in shape
  • At first glance, not recognizable as an electronic gadget
  • Can be put on with one hand
Visualization of the shutter mechanism:
Magnetic closing, linearly reinforced at three points.


  • Signal generator, LED, microphone and battery glued on thin perforated plastic film and integrated between layers of textile
  • Built-in microphone to allow the phone to stay stowed in your pocket while dancing
Visualization of technical details


  • Impulse types and strengths can be selected in the app
  • Light pulses can be switched on individually
  • In app conection to a database with lyrics videos translated into sign language


  • For the production of tàct-il, a collaboration with organizations such as the Swiss Association of the Deaf SGB-FSS and the sign language theater Movo-Art would be planned. A collaboration with the Contemporary Dance Class of the ZHdK and the Institute for Computer Science of the University of Zurich would make it possible that this affordable product keeps its promise.
Sketch of a possible application-interface