Synesthesia is an intriguing neurological condition in which a person's senses blend together, allowing one to, say, see sounds or taste colors.
Although only synesthetes truly understand this experience (and only for themselves, since sensual feedback differs by person), a unique DIY mask can mimic the effects of the condition to give the rest of us some idea of what synesthesia is like.
Manipulate Surreal, 3-D Landscapes With Music
This mask, created by Zachary Howard from Instructables, hacks your sense of smell, offering a rare opportunity to sniff colors.
If you're interested in altering your sensory perception of the world, you can follow Howard's lead to create your own DIY mask. A list of the materials he used and instructions are available here.
Howard enlisted an off-the-shelf mask and a 3-D printer, along with some strategic tweaking of electronics, to arrive at his contraption. The mask uses a hand sensor that reads colors from the outside world and a built-in camera that transforms the pixel color into a scent. After the color is identified, an Intel Edison board triggers a spritz of the corresponding scent inside the mask.
Smell-O-Vision Lets You Watch And Sniff
Each scent that's mapped to a color can be programmed based on the mask's creator and his desires. For example, the color red could be programmed to smell like roses. When the user crosses over several colors at once, he's bound to inhale an interesting combination of fragrances.
Watch Howard's reality become distorted as he puts on his DIY synesthesia mask in this video.