Put on a futuristic-looking, geometric white mask and you’ll suddenly have superhuman senses, hearing targeted sounds from long distances or applying effects to images in real-time. The ‘Eidos’ masks were developed by a group of students from the Royal College of Art in London, fitting over the mouth or ears to enhance sensory perception.
The mask that fits over the mouth and ears features a directional microphone to capture audio, which is processed by software to eliminate background noise. The sound is transmitted directly to the inner ear through bone vibrations to make it seem as if someone else’s speech is coming from inside your own head.
The second mask, which fits over the eyes, adds visual effects to the wearer’s range of vision, and can also analyze visual data. That data is sent to a computer, where software processes it and picks out patterns and movements that are invisible to the naked eye.
“Eidos has broad application in areas where live audio and video analysis is valuable. For example, sportspeople can visualise and improve technique in real time. Eidos also has healthcare benefits where it can be used to boost or refine sensory signals weakened by ageing or disability. In the arts, Eidos can augment live performance such as ballet, fashion or music concerts. It allows us to highlight previously invisible or inaudible details, opening up new and customisable experiences.”