Introducing the World’s First ‘Touchable Memory’: A Device Shining a Light on Usher Syndrome

We are honored to announce our involvement in a remarkable awareness campaign with Cure Usher, Havas Lynx, and Push Films: the world’s first ‘touchable memory’ device. 

This awareness campaign seeks to shed light on Usher syndrome, a genetic condition that causes varying degrees of hearing and sight loss from an early age. Despite its significant impact, Usher syndrome remains underrecognized, with a misdiagnosis rate of 40%, underscoring the critical need for heightened awareness and understanding. 

Our collaboration on this project perfectly encapsulates our commitment to improving lives through innovation. 

By developing a device to appear in the campaign film that converts sounds into tactile sensations, we enabled the campaign’s real-life sisters – Laura, who has Usher syndrome, and Hannah – to reconnect with a memory in a uniquely inclusive manner. 

We invite you to watch the emotional film and explore the press release below. 

The World’s First Touchable Memory. A Device Created To Raise Awareness About This Impairing Genetic Condition

  • Usher syndrome is a genetic condition that develop in children and young adults causing the loss of hearing and sight in different degrees.
  • Awareness of Usher is low with doctors misdiagnosing 40% of the time leading to uncertainty for families. In the UK around 11,000 people have been diagnosed with Usher, with an estimated 400,000 people worldwide.

Cure Usher Syndrome, a patient-led charity dedicated to raising awareness of Usher Syndrome, has launched its new brand awareness initiative, kicking off with an emotional short film which shows two sisters experiencing the world’s first touchable memory.

Conceived by leading global healthcare communications agency, Havas Lynx, and transformed into a real device by tech-experts, Cambridge Design Partnership, the device transforms stimuli such as sound or music, into tactile sensations. The frequency of these vibrations is adjusted for the hand’s receptors, which research shows can detect almost nothing over 1,000Hz.

The emotional short film features Laura Whitaker, a woman who has lived with Usher syndrome since a young age and her sister Hannah Stroud. It shows the real-life sisters interacting with the ‘Touchable Memory’, which allows them to experience a moment in time the same way despite Laura’s hearing and sight limitations.

In preparation for the film, Laura and Hannah undertook a series of interviews which allowed the Havas Lynx team to collate information to select a memory to hide in the device.

Not only does the device translate sounds into vibrations, but it was also designed with a specific shape, light, and colour for people with limited concentric sight.

Stuart Curtis, Engineer at Cambridge Design Partnership, said: “Results showed that skin receptors on the hands respond best to low-frequency sound and can detect almost nothing over 1,000Hz compared to our hearing which can detect 20,000Hz. With the use of surface transducers, we translated a synthetic baseline from a MIDI track, into a sensorial experience. These frequencies became physical and allowed Laura and Hannah to feel the music rather than hear it.”

Alex Okada, Chief Creative Officer at Havas Lynx, said: “Since this condition is still incurable, we had to be very careful how to raise awareness without spreading fear. The device was a way to grab attention but the emotional connection between the sisters was what made it meaningful.”

Mark Jordon and Laura Norton are Patrons at Cure Usher Syndrome, they have two young children who both have the condition. Talking about the campaign, both said: “We are proud and privileged to be joint patrons of Cure Usher, and to support this charity in raising awareness of Usher syndrome.

“The film is unbelievably powerful, I think it is going to have a huge impact in raising awareness of usher syndrome and what it means to find a cure. The human element of Laura and Hannah’s story is invaluable, and I can’t thank them enough for sharing their memories and the power that their story holds.

“A huge thanks also to Havas Lynx, Cambridge Design Partnership, and Push Films, all bringing the magical elements to make this emotional film.”

Cure Usher Syndrome is working to raise awareness, support families and raise money for vital medical research. It currently has an agreement with University College London (UCL) where donations directly fund research as part of the Institute of Ophthalmology.

You can donate to Cure Usher Syndrome via its website:

For more information contact:

Notes to Editors

The Touchable Memory device was created and calibrated solely for this experiment. The chosen memory was selected via pre-interviews that explored meaningful shared moments between the sisters along the years. They were not aware of the device, how it worked or what it contained so we could capture their real reactions and emotions in the first time finding their memory.

About Cure Usher Syndrome

We are a patient led, UK based, registered charity dedicated to directly funding research into and supporting people living with, Usher syndrome.

Our mission is simple, to raise awareness of Usher syndrome and directly fund research to help find a cure.

Usher syndrome is the leading cause of genetically inherited combined hearing and sight loss, with over 11,000+ living with the condition in the UK and an estimated 400,000 people worldwide.

People with Usher syndrome experience combined hearing and sight loss. It’s a rare genetic condition that affects everyone differently, Usher syndrome connects us, but doesn’t define us.

That’s why raising awareness of our community gets us out of bed every morning. Because all of us deserve to be understood.

About Cambridge Design Partnership

At Cambridge Design Partnership, our mission is to improve lives through innovation.

Tackling complex or entirely new challenges is part and parcel of innovation, and it’s not unusual for even well-established organizations to seek external assistance. They turn to us for our specialized expertise, extensive experience, and adaptable capabilities to navigate these challenges effectively.

No matter where our clients are on their innovation journey, they can depend on us to deliver transformative solutions to their most pressing challenges. Our multidisciplinary team of over 300 experts has a track record of success at every stage of the innovation process, so we’re always ready to handle complex challenges swiftly and pragmatically.

Our agility allows us to seamlessly integrate at any point in the innovation cycle, from market analysis and conceptualizing designs to realizing prototypes and on-site pilot manufacturing. Our collaborative approach fosters breakthrough moments that accelerate market entry, secure competitive advantage, and, most importantly, positively impact the lives of those our clients aim to serve.

For more information, please visit

About Havas Lynx

We are Havas Lynx, a leading healthcare communications agency with a full-service global offering and almost 600 multi-disciplinary specialists in Manchester, London, and New York.  

We bring together fresh perspectives, creative thinking, and a progressive, collaborative approach to partner with our clients, healthcare professionals and patients in finding solutions for the modern-day healthcare landscape. Ultimately, everything we do is about making a genuine and lasting impact. 

And we pride ourselves on the impact we have as an agency. Whether that’s award-winning creative to connect patients and HCPs, whether that’s record-breaking recruitment of patients onto clinical trials, or whether that’s finding untapped media opportunities by looking at the person behind the professional.

About Push Films

We’re PUSH, an international One-Stop Shop production company based in Lisbon.Any idea can be pushed further with the right care.
We’re a team of caring mavericks that don’t rest until we bring to life every idea to its full potential.


Creative agency: Havas Lynx
Chief Creative Officer: Alex Okada
Chief Executive Officer: Claire Knapp
Chief Medical Officer: Vernon Bainton
Executive Creative Director: Chris Wellard
Managing Director: Camilla Griffiths
Account team: Henry Murray
Creatives: Alex Okada, Mark Jordon, Diogo Abrantes
Designer: Christian Brown, Victor Bustani
Production Company: Push Films
Post-production Company: PushVFX
Executive Producer: Manuel Santiago
Head Of Production: Fátima Santos Filipe
Line Producer: Nuno Mendes
Director: Martians
VFX Creative Director: Pedro Motta
DoP: Tomás Brice
Editor: Hugo Rosado
Art Director: Carmen Barber
Stylist: João Telmo
Light & Grip: STP Audiovisuals
Location Sound: Cyril Santos
Grading: The Yellow Color
Camera Equipment: Planar
Make up: Rita Sousa
Sound designer and Mix Engineer: Stuart Allen-Hynd
Audio postproduction studio: Jungle Studios

Cambridge Design Partnership
Mechanical Engineer: Ali McGuire
Electronics Engineer: Jack Stokley
Head of Marketing: Jody Chilton
Mechanical Engineer: Jonny Morris
Physicist: Karl Jessel
Software Engineer: Matthew Briggs
Electronics Engineer: Matthew Dickinson
Software Engineer: Ricardo Nunes
Mechanical Engineer: Stuart Curtis

Cure Usher
Founders: Stephen White and Jo White
Patron: Mark Jordon

Media agency: Havas Lynx Media