You’ve bought Neosensory Buzz and you want to make certain you get the most out of it.
You put it on and felt sounds as patterns of vibration on your wrist. You knocked on the door and felt the vibration on your skin. You clapped your hands, rang your doorbell, said some things out loud. It works!
But sometimes you feel sounds, and perhaps you’re not certain what they represent. Was that someone’s lawn mower on the other side of the fence? Or a helicopter in the sky?
So how do you get better at interpreting Buzz patterns?
The answer is simple: by experiencing the world.
Making correlations with Buzz
Your brain makes correlations. It sees the moving mouth of the dog and feels the vibrational pattern on your wrist. It realizes these are connected. And after some practice, the bark of the dog is experienced not simply as patterns on your wrist, but as an internal experience. It’s like hearing the dog. (Note this is how a hearing baby learns how to use her ears. She watches her parents’ lips, knocks on the bars of her cribs, claps her hands, and so on… making correlations between what she sees and the signals coming into her ears).
Buzz training games
Begin with the Practice sound room:
Open the app, make sure your Buzz is connected, tap the top left menu icon and choose Training Games, then Practice.
Click on a picture and you can feel what it sounds like. Touch the smoke detector and you’ll feel its beep beep beep. Then, if you’re ever around a smoke detector that turns on in real life, you’ll recognize the feeling.
Then try the knock on the door. The doorbell. And then richer sounds: the cell phone ring. And finally, complex sounds such as someone speaking.
Play with the Practice sound room as often as you’d like. At first your brain will make a conscious translation (oh, “beep beep beep”… that means there’s a smoke alarm going off). After a while the understanding becomes unconscious – exactly the way a hearing person uses her ears, or the way a sighted person uses his eyes. In other words, when you look at a cat, you don’t think there are millions of photons hitting my retina, and the collection has certain edges and angles that I’ve seen before… I think that translates to a cat. Instead, you just experience there’s a cat. That’s what sensory practice gives you: direct perception.
Add to your practice with fun games – such as the Memory game:
This is the classic children’s game in which you turn over two cards to try to find a match. Here, each card you turn over sends a pattern of vibration to your Buzz. Thus, when you turn over the dog, you feel the bark on your wrist. When you flip over the ambulance, you feel its sirens.
In this way, by playing a fun game, you get good practice at associating seen objects with their vibrations. As you get better, the game gets harder. On level two, you only see the picture for half a second, so you are relying a little bit more on the feeling of the object to identify it. On level three, you don’t see a picture at all, but instead rely entirely on the vibration pattern to understand what’s on each card.
Try playing the games as often as you can. They’re fun, and you’ll immediately begin to notice the difference in how well you’re identifying sounds in the real world.
We’re always adding new games and ways to practice, so check back often on the Training games section in your app.
By David Eagleman, CEO & Co-founder