The Sound of Color“Life will be much more exciting when we stop creating applications for mobilephones and we start creating applications for our own body“ Neil Harbisson Jasso V. M. Patricia Martínez M. María Berenice Ruiz Trejo Luz Adriana
What Is Achromatopsia?Congenital achromatopsia is a rarehereditary vision disorder whichaffects 1 person in 33,000 in the U. S.Persons who have achromatopsia donot have normal "cone vision." In theretinas of normal eyes there are 6million cone photoreceptors,located mostly at the center of theretina. There are complete andincomplete forms of achromatopsia.
Persons with complete achromatopsia must rely on their "rod vision."In the normal eye there are 100 million rod photoreceptors. Rodsare located mostly at the periphery of the retina. Rods "saturate" athigher levels of illumination. Therefore, the eyes of achromats,lacking normal cone vision and having only rod vision, are not ableto adapt normally to higher levels of illumination. Rods do not providecolor vision or good detail vision.
CYBORGA cyborg, short for ”cybernetic organism", is a being with bothbiological and artificial parts. See for example biomaterials andbioelectronics.The term was coined in 1960 when Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Klineused it in an article about the advantages of self-regulating human-machine systems in outer space.The termcyborg is often applied to anorganism that has enhanced abilities due totechnology, though this perhaps oversimplifiesthe necessity of feedback for regulating thesubsystem.The more strict definition of Cyborg is almostalways considered as increasing or enhancingnormal capabilities.
EyeborgAn eyeborg is a cybernetic body apparatus which typically fits on thewearers head, and is designed to allow people to perceive color throughsound waves. It is mostly used by blind people or by people with visualimpairments such as color blindness or achromatopsia. It works with ahead-mounted camera that reads the colors directly in front of a person,and converts them in real-time into sound waves.
Frequency spectrumAny signal that can be represented as an amplitude that varies with time has acorresponding frequency spectrum. This includes familiar concepts such asvisible light (color), musical notes, radio/TV channels, and even the regularrotation of the earth.Often, the frequency spectrum clearly shows harmonics, visible as distinctspikes or lines signal.
Neil Harbisson A completely colorblind musician and painter perceives the world in a new way with help from technology.
As a kid growing up in Barcelona.“I noticed that other students at school could identify colorseasier than me,” he recalls. “Then I knew there was aproblem with color.”
As a music composition student at the DartingtonCollege of Arts in England.Harbisson approached the young speaker,cybernetics innovator Adam Montandon, thenat the University of Plymouth, to describe his conditionand ask if there might be a way to help him perceivecolor.
Montandon then considered a devicethat would simply say the names ofcolors aloud, but this didn’t sit rightwith him either. “I wanted to givehim something a bit more magical,”Montandon recalls. Finally, hethought about the physicalsimilarities of light and sound. “Lightis a wavelength that moves veryfast,” he says. “[If] you slow it downenough, it stops becoming visible. Itstarts becoming audible.”
In just 2 weeks’ time, Montandon and Harbisson created a device thattranslated the light waves that correspond to different colors into sounds withdifferent pitches.The prototype, constructed from an inexpensive computer webcam, a laptopcarried in a backpack, and a pair of old headphones, “It was fairly primitive,but it was good enough”.
“Then he just ran off down the corridor…I couldn’t stop him. He went to listen to absolutelyeverything.”Montandon.Harbisson “hadn’t evenswitched off thecomputer.”
“It’s like listening to electronicmusic” says Harbisson, who nowwears a refined version of thedevice, which he calls an“eyeborg.”
Today, the system comprises a camera that sticks out aboveHarbisson’s head like an antenna, and a small computer chipthat converts light to sound. . “I receive color through thebone, and I’m listening to you through the ears” Harbissonsays.
Indeed, Harbisson’s eyeborg is catching the attention of some musicians and artists.The pianist Jools Holland, used a version of the device toaccompany live concerts held in 2009–2010 across the U.K.“He likes to improvise, [so] we created a reverse system thatwould turn his music into colors and lights as he played.”
How long did it take you to learn how to use it? What is it like? Your world must look very different. Tell me about your art So, what is the colour of Mozart? You create portraits too - how? Here at TED they called you a sonochromatic artist cyborg. What on earth is that?
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