DIY Syneseizure Mask Lets You "Feel" Images
Synesthesia is a neurological condition where one sensation or cognition leads to an involuntary stimulation of another, meaning people with it might be able to hear colors or see smells. Up until now, people wanting to stimulate more than one sense at a time would have to spend a few hours playing Rez or Child of Eden from game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi, who aims to immerse gamers in a form of synesthesia.
But not all of us can spend our time gaming, so that’s where this hack could prove useful. Called Syneseizure, the mask converts visual input into the sensation of touch. It may look like a frightening robot gimp mask from a fetish version of Star Wars, but it could help you traverse the hidden realities like a Yaqui sorcerer. The team explains how it works:
For this hack, we designed and built a full head mask that allows the wearer to feel images in real time. The mask is arrayed with 12 speakers that contact the skin of the face. When an image is captured with a webcam and converted into a 12 pixel black-and-white representation. The computer activates arduinos that control the speakers. If the pixel is white, the corresponding speaker is turned on. If the pixel is black, the corresponding speaker is turned off. This allows the wearer to feel (via the vibrations of the speakers) on their face.
It was built as part of the Science Hack Day San Francisco and will now haunt your flu-fuelled illness nightmares from this day onwards.