The idea itself isn’t entirely new. For some years now, there have been repeated attempts to help deaf people to experience sound using lights and vibrations. In 2013, for instance, a team of students from Qatar University developed a bracelet that used LED lights and vibrations to alert deaf users to important sounds around them like loud sirens or car horns. Coke Studio for the Deaf, though, is perhaps the first time a major south Asian television show has used this technology.

“Working together with Coke Studio has been a really amazing experience,” Deaf Reach founder Richard Geary told Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper. “Not just because we got to see the experience the young people enjoyed, but to create awareness in the country and internationally about the need to provide more opportunities for the deaf community.” Less than 2% of the 1.25 million deaf children in the country currently attend school.

For Coke Studio’s newest listeners, it was an experience unlike any other.

“Whatever my body felt, whatever my brain thought,” an audience member with impaired hearing said, using sign language, “even though, we can’t hear the music but we can feel it”.

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