FLEXOUND Augmented Audio allows you to feel sound rather than just listen

A new multisensory technology has added an extra dimension to the way we usually consume media through our eyes and ears by creating a unique, holistic, immersive listening experience that users can feel as well as hear and see.

FLEXOUND Augmented Audio combines full-range high-quality audio with gentle physical sound wave vibration to add the sensation of touch to any listening experience, be it music, games, TV, streaming, meditation, movies, VR or any other sound content.

The technology was originally designed and engineered in Finland to help autistic children but is now solving problems and adding value in many industries and is now being introduced into home entertainment.

According to FLEXOUND, our sense of touch is very sensitive to sound and has been consistently underused in high-quality audio. The company is aiming to make audio a whole-body experience that enhances quality of life.

The patented FLEXOUND Augment Audio technology works by radiating vibration through foam, rather than vibrating sound into the air like loudspeakers do, providing a soft, near-field listening experience. The technology can be embedded into seats, cushions, or anything else that is soft and in contact with the body.

An example of this is the FLEXOUND Pulse seat which has enabled the creation of the first fully loudspeaker-free cinema concept that can transform any large or small space into a superior, immersive soundscape and multisensory cinema. In the home, this can be used as office meeting audio instead of having speakers, or as a gaming stations, for sound massage, or to enjoy an immersive home cinema experience.

The idea of the FLEXOUND Pulse seat is to create a personal soundsphere where the user has a deeper focus and immersion into the content they are listening to or viewing. The multisensory experience enhances the emotions created by the content, making it accessible to more people, such as those with impaired hearing.

In a traditional home cinema set up, the viewer can only usually feel the thump of a high-powered subwoofer firing sub-bass, but with the FLEXOUND Pulse, viewers can feel frequencies up to 500Hz with their body, and even up to 1,000Hz with their hands and skin.

It is also a good solution to minimise sound leakage from room to room as it does not rely on far field listening or filling a room with decibels like traditional loudspeakers do. It also means there is no ‘sweet spot’ in a cinema room; every seat gets the same experience wherever they are sitting. By listening through the skin as well as the ears, not as many decibels are needed to achieve clarity of speech, so music and sound effects will not drown out the dialogue.

The company carried out some market research last month to see what people think of FLEXOUND Pulse and the results were very positive with 91% saying they would recommend the experience to others, 77% reporting that they had enjoyed the new sound experience a lot, and 89% saying that they would like to see FLEXOUND Pulse in their local cinemas.