Welcome to the 21st century
Technology and its infinite ways has helped to make life easier in the 21st century. It seems that everyday you hear of a new technology, and while most of it is “cool,” some of it has actual benefits for society.
One such technology is the app BW Dance, which creates visualizations and vibrations for the deaf or hard of hearing (HOH) to help them feel the music. According to the iTunes store description, the app turns music into visual equalizer, vibration signals, and flashing lights.
Users can simply add tracks to their playlist then select a play mode of either flash, vibration, or a combination of the two. Vitaliy Potapchuk, a co-founder for the app, stated on Product Hunt, “I am a deaf developer and my immediate circles are also deaf (including my wife). I built BW Dance app to bring the “feeling” of the rhythm through vibrations and flashing lights into our silent world. Our deaf community has a lot of limitations and with this app one of those limitations can be defeated.”
Potapchuk is also co-founder of BeWarned, an app with a sound monitor to alert deaf and HOH users of potential dangers in the area. The app alerts users with flashing lights or vibrations if sounds like alarms, screaming, or honking cars are detected. The BW Dance feature is integrated into the overall BeWarned app, operating with the same flashing and vibrating features.
Celebrating different cultures
Too often deaf and HOH individuals are not considered when it comes to designing new products and applications. Non-profit organization Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) notes, “Deaf and hard of hearing people use an entirely different, visual language — and deaf culture is filled with its own traditions, art and social norms, something most hearing people know little about.”
“If you don’t understand your audience, you can expect a lackluster response to your efforts,” CSD explains.
BW Dance seeks to provide the deaf and HOH community with something that not only understands, but celebrates their culture.
The app works for both iPhones and Androids, and is designed to be user-friendly. BW Dance’s slogan is “bringing deafness and music together.” Technology that seeks to include everyone in something with such cultural significance like music shows the benefits of 21st century innovation.