Jiwon Yoon
JungHyun Moon
Thomas Broderick

Augmented Soundscape Headphones (ASH)

Augmented reality headphones that connect a user's private auditory experience with an attuned awareness to both the surrounding soundscape and the movement of their body.


Introduction to Physical Computing

The soundscapes that surround us throughout the urban landscape influence us emotionally and physically on both conscious and subconscious levels, subtly vibrating our bodies and shaping our mental landscape. It's become the norm to shut out the soundscape with headphones by curating a private musical score to accompany our movements through the city. Listening to music as a pedestrian is a beautiful experience and has a certain transcendental quality to it but there is also something of a similar nature to be found in the sounds around us that we haven’t chosen for ourselves.

With the Augmented Soundscape Headphones we seek to create a user experience that bridges the transcendental solitude of the private auditory space with an attuned awareness to the surrounding soundscape. Using binaural microphone headphones, movement sensors, and audio processing the ASH will draw in the users awareness to both the soundscape around them as well as their own movements through the landscape. The amplified environmental sounds captured by the microphones will replicate the perspective of their own ears and the sensors will control subtle audio processing techniques so that the users movements will influence the sound signal they are hearing in real time.

When the user walks, jumps, and runs, the sounds are processed and mixed in a manner that reflects their movements. As the user walks the sound will gradually build over time into a tonal ambient sound experience and when they stop the sounds will fade back to their natural unprocessed state. The ASH will also detect movements of the user's head - tilting left and right will control panning while tilting forwards and backwards control low and high pass filters.