This film by Sara Hendren (ablersite.org) and Brian Glenney (ppl.gordon.edu). Here we're using the Seeing with Sound/vOICe technology.

A human subject voluntarily blinds himself with opaque goggles, and relies on a small mounted camera on those goggles for his "vision." The camera feed transforms its intake of the basic color spectrum into specific aural tones. If users can match and memorize the sounds with the visual cues, relying only on what they hear, they can (more or less) navigate their environments without the benefit of sight.

This technology is designed primarily for the use of people without sight. We got interested in it for the philosophical, cognitive, and aesthetic questions it raises: Can we substitute one sense for another? Is perception more complex and adaptable than we assume?

Most provocatively, as we wandered in the streets of Harvard Square, Cambridge for the shooting, we wondered: how is this wearer perceived—as a person with a disability (with all its cultural stereotypes of dependence), or a high-tech superhuman?

Our subject here is David Botticello; other PPL lab members who worked on the device are Zach Capalbo and Zachary Reynolds (all at ppl.gordon.edu). Film editor: Brian Funck (brianfunck.com).

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