I’m a Brooklyn-based creative technologist currently doing my master’s thesis in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, and would love some insight from you all. I hope you don’t mind my spamming this group, since it’s quite unrelated to the usual perpetual posts, but I figured what better place to reach out than the NIME community!
A Little About the Project:
The purpose of my thesis is to design a sonic learning experience that is both intuitive and accessible to anything with a skeleton. An organic shape outfitted with the functionality of a familiar electronic instrument, the BCI (working title) is an interactive and multi-sensory device, amplified and supported by bone conduction. The instrument allows for an inclusive, versatile, and feasible way for HoH people to interact with a new and innovative instrument with its own embedded sensors and transduction/amplification system. The instrument sits at the intersection of audio- and technophiles, musicians, educators, and the HoH community, providing:
- Aid to musicians and sound designers for composing,
- Comfort to those averse to practicing or performing an instrument in the company of others, and
- Ease for those unable to amplify their instruments due to the circumstances of COVID-19.
How it Works:
The BCI uses psychoacoustic phenomena to accentuate the impact of sonic vibration and evoke a physiological response. Since unique parts of the skull and body have different resonant frequencies, the BCI vibrates different amplitudes of a user’s body, depending on the frequency and phase of the indicated signal. A bone conduction transducer will allow one user only to hear the sounds they generate through their jaw bone—resulting in a profoundly individualistic and personal musical experience. As a result, the output of the instrument is translated into sound information as these individual resonances are felt and internalized throughout the body. Afforded by the instrument’s bone conduction hardware, those afflicted with sensorineural and mixed hearing loss may hear, play, and learn a new and never-before-seen instrument.
How You Can Help:
I’m currently undergoing the prototyping stage of my thesis project, and am reaching out with regard to accessibility and outreach, inclusive design, and music technology. I would love to hear about any information people are willing to share that pertains to bone conduction transducers, connecting with the HoH community, as well as some music-tech solutions for my thesis. I’m looking to develop a relationship with hearing-impaired people to understand and incorporate individual experiences and preferences when it comes to music learning, composition, and performance. Discussing the advantages and flaws of current instruments with the HoH community and musicians alike will help me construct an instrument useful to users across demographics and abilities. Although I am privileged to have access to NYU’s resources in advancing the technological components and protocols necessary to further my thesis, I was hoping you all could give me some additional connections. With your help, my thesis has the potential to bring insight to deafness and sensibility to methods of hearing outside of traditional means.
If you’re interested in hearing more about my thesis project or how the technology works, feel free to reach out. I’m always happy to talk shop!
Thanks so much, looking forward to hearing from you!