Geodesic Sound Helmets

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Sound and Interaction

Presentation Title:

  • Geodesic Sound Helmets

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • Geodesic Sound Helmets (referred to as GSHelmets for brevity) will be a series of immersive and interactive personal sound environments. Currently a work-in-progress, GSHelmets are large geodesic dome-shaped helmet objects containing surround sound flat panel/flexible loudspeakers (FPS), motion detectors and breathing sensors. The use of FPS technology allows the helmets to be slimline and lightweight, where the interior of the helmet is seamlessly integrated into a singular component. Such a design is essential to the philosophy of GSHelmets as the comfort, both physiological and psychological, of the participant is paramount.

    When a participant walks into the space they are invited to put their head inside different ‘helmets’ to hear three-dimensional manipulated soundscapes from locations including (but not limited to) Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Spain. Motion sensors will be built into the helmet to allow the unit to be switched on automatically when a participant interacts with the object by standing with their head inside it. Similarly, when the participant leaves, the object will turn off the sound. A breathing sensor (i.e., air-flow and humidity) located approximately 10-15cm from the participant’s mouth will react in real-time to manipulate the soundscapes according to the individual’s breathing pattern: the sound is changed as the person breathes faster or slower, more deeply or more shallowly. Surround sound spatialisation in the helmets will initially be through amplitude panning and phase decorrelation, with a view to implementing state-of-art near field 3D sound spatialisation algorithms.

    GSHelmets explores differing roles of artist and audience, interactive installation within public interior spaces, new technologies within art, and the importance of physicality. As an exhibition, interactive installation and research collaboration between artist, engineer and audience, GSHelmets questions the validity of the author/artist as sole creator and suggests that the artist lays a foundation for the public to mould and manipulate into his or her own artwork or composition. Thus, the artist’s role within GSHelmets is that of facilitator, while the public become composers and listeners.

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