Soundfield

Roles:

  • Lead the project into defining the concept.
  • Developed rapid prototypes in Unity 3D to test interaction principles in hands-on UX testing.
  • Directed video and composed original sound for the binaural soundtrack.
  • I was involved with the project from conception to completion.
  • Represented Left Field Labs in the Google booth at GDC 2015.

The concept for Soundfield was inspired by my previous experience in an honors research group where I created media based on audio-visual synesthesia and feedback loops.

Soundfield builds upon the Bouba / Kiki experiment from 2001 in which users assigned the names “Bouba” and “Kiki” to two distinct line drawings. Despite having participants from different cultural and linguistic origins, the two subject groups in the experiment assigned with 95-98% consistency that the rounded shape was named “Bouba” and the spiky shape was named “Kiki”. This outcome suggests that the naming of objects, and our understanding of the connections between sound and form are not entirely arbitrary. 

In Soundfield we sought to further explore these innate ties between sight and sound by extruding audio reactive forms, similar to those from the original experiments, into three dimensional space. 

Full range motion tracking and spatial awareness from the device allows users to navigate the landscape and go over, under, between and through an orchestra of animated sound-objects. These illustrative forms embody spatial features directly reflective of the sound characteristics they emit, and are fully explorable using Project Tango technology.