Development of a wearable haptic device

Title: The development of a wearable haptic device based on cochlear implant professionals and users’ recommendations.  (Ethics no: 61075)

We are exploring ways to improve cochlear implant users’ access to sound, particularly in more challenging listening environments. As part of this work, we are looking at developing a vibro-tactile (also known as haptic) device. The device/s are worn on the skin, either on one or both sides of the body, and pick-up speech and sounds in the environment, converting them into gentle vibrations that can be felt on the skin.

We recognise the importance of involving both cochlear implant users and professionals in the development of new assistive technologies from conceptualisation.  We are currently (15/01/2021) recruiting Cochlear Implant users.

The study comprises of three phases:

  1. A short online questionnaire about the listening difficulties that CI users experience (10-15 min)
  2. An online focus group exploring the aspects that need to be considered when developing this technology. Participants can contribute in one of 2 ways: (1) an online focus group with captions and a British Sign Language interpreter if required (1 hour) or (2) a bulletin board focus group for CI users only where written contributions can be made
  3. A short second short questionnaire (10-15 min) with the opportunity to add anything you might have thought of after the focus group. We will also share images of our prototype at this stage for feedback.

 I have provided a participant information sheet with more information

To take part in this research or for more information, please do not hesitate to contact me by email  

This research forms part of my PhD research at the University of Southampton with ethics approval in place (ERGO ID:61075).





Ahmed Bin Afif, PhD Researcher, ISVR, University of Southampton

Supervisors: Dr Ben Lineton (, Dr Mark Fletcher ( and Prof Nicci Campbell (