Frank Swain Can Physically Hear Wireless Data With His Hacked Hearing Aids

By: Alyson Wyers - Nov 21, 2014
References: phantomterrains & fastcodesign
A pair of hacked hearing aids allow Frank Swain to hear wifi. After partnering with artist and programmer Daniel Jones, writer Frank Swain used his progressive hearing loss to turn the data waves that surround us into a tangible form one can observe with their senses. In addition to being able to hear wifi, Swain reached out to photographer Stefanie Posavec so make them visible too.

The altered hearing aids are Bluetooth-enabled Halo ones which provide the grounds for the experimental Phantom Terrains, a platform to showcase sonic frequencies resulting from wireless data. The goal behind this project is to use "hearing as a platform for augmented reality that can immerse us in continuous, dynamic streams of data" and to reposition hearing aids as an enhancement to surpass natural human hearing rather than a prosthetic.