A deaf man has modified his hearing aid so that he can “hear” the presence of wireless networks. Writing in the New Scientist, Frank Swain says it’s an experiment to explore the way tech works for deaf people.
With the modifications, the hearing aid makes different sounds to indicate both the quantity and type of wireless networks in any particular area. He says its simply extending the way a hearing aid works for delivering sound:
Recreating hearing is an incredibly difficult task. Unlike glasses, which simply bring the world into focus, digital hearing aids strive to recreate the soundscape, amplifying useful sound and suppressing noise. As this changes by the second, sorting one from the other requires a lot of programming.
In essence, I am listening to a computer’s interpretation of the soundscape, heavily tailored to what it thinks I need to hear. I am intrigued to see how far this editorialisation of my hearing can be pushed. If I have to spend my life listening to an interpretative version of the world, what elements could I add? The data that surrounds me seems a good place to start.
[Image credit: New Scientist]