What if I told you, there's a blind woman who can see with her ears?

March 27, 2017

Something was happening in her mind’s eye, something that felt fundamentally different than simply “hearing” the sounds.

“I turned around and I could almost just see the fence going all the way across my study and I said, ‘Oh Lord, what is this?’” Pat recalls. “I just started getting chills up my back.”

https://www.wired.com/2017/03/book-excerpt-body-builders/

Working for a company that believes that experiences can be enhanced through audio, the incredible story of Pat Fletcher did not seem that far fetched to me. At Antenna we are working on things like binaural/3D sound and we have over 30 years experience producing Access tours for the visually or hearing impaired. But deeper reading took my breath away.

Here is someone who, with one eyeball missing and one eye permanently shut actually rewired her brain to ‘see’ images through sound. She stumbles across a computer program designed by a Dutch engineer, called “vOICe” that can convert pixels in images into soundscapes, and 4 years later she’s seeing patterns and textures, inside rooms and sinks, gardens, fences, the sky…

Pat underwent significant studies involving MRI scans and leading scientists have confirmed that what she ‘sees’ is real. And she’s able to distinguish between ‘real life’ sounds and her soundscapes.

Just think what this means to learning, and visitor experiences in museums. In fact, it leads me to think, that there’s a whole ‘virtual’ world out there, real or fictional, that we could explore through sound, in ways which no-one has ever explored before…

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We make audio tours, mobile apps, multimedia guides, podcasts, interactives, and superior story-driven content for the museum and cultural sector.

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