Sensory Substitution, Brain Plasticity, Wearable Devices, Perception, Alternative Information Displays,
Bone Conduction Hearing, Parametric Sound, Tactile Visual displays, HipHop, Gastronomy, Echolocation,
Accessibility, Hardware, Physiology, Bionics.
These wearable extensions are alternative electronic data displays through sensory-mixing mechanics.
This shift of information output tests the potential of further integrating computing applications with
our wide physiological sensory array. This research explores perceptual interfaces that translate information
through cross-modal sensory methods. In four case studies, this thesis appropriates common devices,
transforming their sensory functionality:
1. Spoon/PopMatrix: tongue display for tactile sight in gastronomic experiences;
2. Echolocation Headphones: seeing space through parametric sound;
3. Play-a-Grill: bone conduction music player jewelry mouthpiece;
4. Scent Rhythm: olfactory mapping to the body’s circadian cycle.
Adopting the core utility of common devices and expanding their physiological interface capacities,
ignites alternative perceptive pathways for information. These experiments deliver novel experiences
based on multi-sentient interactions that expand the palette of the senses.
Spoon & Pop Matrices. 12/11
The Spoon and Pop matrices are an electric visual experience through your tongue.
These devices enable individuals to stimulate their visual senses via tongue display units using electrode
vibrotactile stimulation based on visual cues from a processing training application sketch. Using non-invasive
sensory substitution methods, Spoon & Pop matrices facilitate a new port for vision and a discreet addition to the
palate of senses. This project is largely inspired and informed by the work of Dr. Paul Bach-Y-Rita on sensory substitution
and prosthetics. His devices such as the BrainPort were non-invasive and expanded on the studies of the elasticity of the mind.
Like Bach-Y-Rita says- “We see with our brains, not with our eyes.”
Listening to music through your teeth. 12/13/11
Play-A-Grill is the combination of a digital music player and the mouth piece jewelry usually associated with Hip Hop and Rap music genres known as a grill. Grills are almost always made of precious metal, most notably gold or platinum. They are completely removable, and almost used as a retainer. This piece of jewelry presents a perfect opportunity to merge an arbitrary music fashion object and reintroduce it as the music player itself. Because the grill is worn over the teeth, sound can be transmitted using bone conduction hearing instead of outside speakers or headphones. Play-A-Grill is an iteration of a music fashion object of that becomes the music player itself.
The Future Tech Grill is the second iteration of this project. It was custom made for Daily Planet host Lucas Cochran for Discovery Channel Canada.
Echolocation Headphones. 10/12
Echolocation Headphones is a project that studies new applications for parametric
sound technologies. This study emphasizes on augmentation of the auditory sense by enhancing our current
ability of processing omnidirectional sound by providing a focal point to audition, similar to a visual focal point.
Currently, human echolocation is being explored by the blind who have reached an increased understanding of sound and
spatial relationships. In other species echolocation is facilitated by different evolutionary traits that differ from the
current human senses. These headphones provide the opportunity for focal audition similar to a focal point in vision, depicting
a more detailed spatial image of the parameters of the space surrounding the subject.
Scent Rhythm. 05/13
Scent Rhythm is timekeeping device that maps relational olfactory sequences to the body's circadian cycle.
The sense of smell is a chemoreceptor, which means that these sensors can detect chemicals. The sense of time,
chronoception, is not based on the function of a specific organ, but rather the result of the interaction of the
cerebral cortex, cerebellum and basal ganglia. This device attempts to keep a chemical watch on the circadian rhythm,
by administering fragrance+supplement concoctions associated with the daily activity of the moment to promote the
production of certain neurotransmitters, such as chamomile+melatonin during sleep, espresso+caffeine during
the awaken state.
In this video you can see the user interaction to set a new scent cycle. If you look carefully the user is clicking the button
and cycling through the top-left most atomizer, and clockwise to the second. 1 click is sleep, 2 is awaken, 3 is active,
and 4 is rest. One 3 sec. click will reset the watch to the normal function mapped to ET time zone.