„Not seeing separates us from things, not hearing separates us from people.“
– Immanuel Kant
This project began love to my grandfather who lost his hearing sense. It was painful to see and accept that he cannot be a part of any conversation. Thus he became an lonely island among dynamic conversation and laughters of my family. Loss of his hearing sense meant a lot more than just to have a talk. He got silent and he stoped practising his hobbies: listening to music and singing.
Therefore I decided to work on this project:
What if music is not to hear? What if there is other method of enjoying music?
For the initial research I met group of people who uses different hearing aids or lost the hearing sense. This talk and survey gave me deeper insight of their daily life and their hidden desire to music and singing. This insight brought me on to the path of enjoying music on different ways. Using skin and bone, we can feel pressure, temperature and vibration. These three elements can redefine music as well: low, middel and high tone plus begin, climax and end.
At the end of the project, it was a great achievement to get positive feedbacks from people with hearing aids or lost hearing sense on my devices.
Sol Clara Lee, Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal, July 2012
There are divers reasons why people can hear less or become deaf. Our ear actually has three areas which define its function hearing: outer, middle and inner ear. If there is a problem in one of three parts of ear, we hear limited. On the market, there are different hearing aids.
With my project, I firstly defined what kind of elements music has and how these elements can be translated into other senses than hearing. Therefore I used mainly tactile feedback in hands and visual representation of music.
The concept is that the head set vibrates in three different levels: low, middle and high tones. The handheld vibrates with bass. It also has two wings of temperature plates. When music gpes towards to peak of its piece, these plates get steadily warmer, at its peak almost hot and at the end of music it cools down.
When music plays, on the display you can see pre-programmed colours bouncing and mixing. This colour play can be felt in your hand thanks to the artificial muscle technology.
Initial sketches for head set of bone condutor and handheld device.
Test result of different head set position.
Final design of four built in bone conductor head set.
The head set needs to be in three parts: one in the middle with one bone conductor and two wings which can be moved. The wings are moveble because people with limited hearing ability have different hearing aids; sometimes fixated on their heads permanently.
Final design of handheld device with mobile bone conductor, temperature and pressure surfaces.
Playful tactile surface: different colors pulse while music is playing.
How to use the head set and the handheld.
Interface of configuration for music, vibration, temperature and color setting..
Final head set prototype.
Final handheld prototype.
Sol Clara Lee