(photo by Matt Biddulph)
Earlier this month, Science Hack Day SF brought together 150+ scientists, designers, developers, and makers to collaborate on science-related projects. Along with US hackers, the event included participants from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, and South Africa thanks to a grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to Institute for the Future. My IFTF colleague Ariel Waldman, the lead on Science Hack Day SF and the grant, posted about the insanely creative and wonderful projects that emerged from the 48 hours of science hacking: a DNA-based cocktail, a globe where the location of the International Space Station is tracked using a laser pointer, the Isodrag Typeface that rescales letters based on their aerodynamic drag, and many others. Pictured above is Syneseizure, the hack that won the "People's Choice" award. From the project description:
Synesthesia is a condition in which one sensation (sight, hearing, etc) gets mixed up with another. This can cause situations in which someone "smells" sounds, or "sees" touches. For this hack, we designed and built a full head mask that allows the wearer to feel images in real time. The mask is arrayed with 12 speakers that contact the skin of the face. When an image is captured with a webcam and converted into a 12 pixel black-and-white representation. The computer activates arduinos that control the speakers. If the pixel is white, the corresponding speaker is turned on. If the pixel is black, the corresponding speaker is turned off. This allows the wearer to feel (via the vibrations of the speakers) on their face.