If you've ever longed to have superhuman sight and hearing, a group of students from the Royal College of Art in London can fulfill those wishes.
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With their project Eidos, Tim Bouckley, Millie Clive-Smith, Mi Eun Kim and Yuta Sugawara have created two masks that enhance sensory perception. One prototype is a mask that fits over the mouth and ears and lets wearers hear sound more selectively. A directional microphone in the mask isolates sounds and neutralizes background noise. Sound is then transmitted to the wearer through headphones and mouthpiece that passes sound to the inner ear by way of bone vibrations. Creators say this creates the sensation of hearing someone talk inside one's head.
The second mask is worn over the eyes and looks like a large white visor punctured with small holes. A camera mounted near the visor's top bar captures images, which are processed by computer software that produce visual effects similar to the tracers seen in long-exposure photography. In essence, the wearer is able see a frame-by-frame progression of movement.
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"Eidos has broad application in areas where live audio and video analysis is valuable. For example, sportspeople can visualize and improve technique in real time. Eidos also has healthcare benefits where it can be used to boost or refine sensory signals weakened by aging or disability," the team explains. "In the arts, Eidos can augment live performance such as ballet, fashion or music concerts. It allows us to highlight previously invisible or inaudible details, opening up new and customizable experiences."
In their video, team Eidos added:
"We are used to controlling the world around us to find the settings that suit us best. But while technology advances to aid this, our physical bodies remain the same. What if we had the same control over our senses? If we could adjust them in real time, what experiences would this make possible?"
Credit: Tim Bouckley