Devices That Fine-Tune Sight And Hearing On The Fly
The Eidos goggles and mask isolate and amplify certain inputs so that, for example, someone standing at the back of a crowded auditorium can hear a speaker as clearly as if they were sitting in the front.
Students at London’s Royal College of Art have created two devices, a mask and goggles, that when worn enable users to isolate and amplify sounds and sights respectively. The Eidos mask captures sound through a directional microphone and runs it through software that picks out the desired audio. It then plays the audio to the wearer through earphones as well as a mouthpiece that sends the sound to the inner ear. The Eidos goggles use software to process a specific video target and redisplay an enhanced version to the wearer.
What’s the Big Idea?
At its most basic, the Eidos devices could prove beneficial for those whose sight and/or sound have begun to fade with age. However, the design team has come up with a number of entertaining applications. For example, when worn at a band concert, the mask could allow its wearer to listen to one musician, such as the drummer. When worn at a dance performance, the goggles could add computer-generated special effects, such as smoke, to one or more performers. Neither device is unobtrusive — “[t]he mask is reminiscent of something you’d find a Mortal Kombat character wearing” — but the technology they incorporate is promising.
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