Ever wondered what it would feel like having superhuman powers without being a mutant? Well, this might be for you.
Four students at Royal College of Art in London created Eidos, an equipment that enhances visual and acoustic perception to some levels that are not usually possible for humans. By using these masks, people get to focus their hearing or sight on a specific person or object, while ignoring all the others, at the same time.
One could say that the designers of the Eidos equipment used the signal to noise concept from physics: “We’ve found that while we experience the world as many overlapping signals, we can use technology to first isolate and then amplify the one we want.”
The first mask, seen in the first image, covers the ears and the lower half of the face. Upon capturing the audio signal with a directional microphone, the background noise is removed with the help of a piece of software. The headphones and a central mouthpiece facilitate the transmission of sound. The isolated audio signal reaches the inner ear via bone vibrations: “This creates the unique sensation of hearing someone talk right inside your head.”
The second piece of equipment is a headset that applies special effects to whatever video signal is captured with the head-mounted camera. The editing is not made on the spot, however. The video signal is transmitted to a computer where special software is used for applying the necessary effects. As a result, the person wearing this mask might have the impression that the movement patterns of people match the effects seen in long-exposure photography.
So how would you really use this product? The masks could enhance sport events, opera, concerts and so on. In other words, any type of event that requires the spectators to focus specifically on a single person that is more important at a specific time.