If you’ve ever been struck with a serious case of vertigo, then you know just how crippling that sense of imbalance and dizziness can be. Vertigo occurs when there is a problem with the vestibular organ in the inner ear that is responsible for maintaining our sense of balance, and it is a difficult condition to study and to treat.

A consortium in Germany is aiming to change that with its EQUIVert biofeedback system in the form of headphones. The team designed and developed the system to train a patient’s other sensory systems to compensate for the vestibular organ’s sense of imbalance.

The headphones work by giving the wearer a set of exercises to complete while maintaining their balance and standing straight. However, if they are experiencing a case of vertigo, they will actually be leaning to one side without knowing it. Sensors in the headphones will detect this and give them auditory cues to correct it. The idea is to use them regularly to train the body to automatically do what the headphones do: ignore the vestibular organ when it's wrong.