Sunday, December 2, 2012

Man who hears color

Artist Neil Harbisson suffers from a visual condition called achromatopsia, total color blindness so all he is different shades of grey. In 2003, he partnered with scientists to make an "electronic eye".  Harbisson wears the device on his head.
It detects the color frequency of the item that passes in front of it, turns it into a sound frequency and passes the information to a chip installed at the back of Harbisson's head. He then is able to hear the color through bone conduction, or sound waves that are created as they pass through the bones of the skull to the inner ear. He has had to memorized more that 180 different notes for each color.
Since wearing the device for so long he has gained the ability to translate the frequencies in speech to its color counterpart. For example the picture below is two famous speeches translated to color.
On the left one of Hitler's speeches and on the right a Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech

This is a link to a short article on him but also to a video where he explains the device and how it effects his life

No comments:

Post a Comment