2: Reverse Listening Device

Here’s my second object for my Selfridges window at the Festival of Imagination. I thought to myself ‘what would it sound like if I could hear the things that happened on my left side through my right ear?’ So I decided to make this Reverse Listening Device, and it actually works. It sounds very strange and I will now wear it at all times.

Reverse Listening Device by Dominic Wilcox
Reverse Listening Device by Dominic Wilcox

Above photograph of me taken by Pec studio

For larger images visit my portfolio website here
Reverse Listening Device was designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Above photographs of Dominic Wilcox’s objects taken by Pec studio.

Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book (sign up to be notified) coming out this year also full of my invention drawings, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

3 thoughts on “2: Reverse Listening Device”

  1. With respect for your creative solution and innocence on the subject, as a hearing-aid wearer this project has very little charm. I have to cope with differential signal processing failures that leave me unable to hear the incident sound and only the echoes: Imagine snapping your fingers in front of you but your ears report with utter certainty that the sound came from 10′ behind you. (5′ to the wall, 5′ back.) There are plenty of time when the opposite aid processes/passes the signal, producing something like the effect your artwork has created. I’ve paid over $3k for the privilege of never trusting my ears again, not to mention the inability to enjoy music and no improvement in understanding speech.

    It’s a bit like you’ve made a chair with wheels, and you’ve discovered the novelty of “riding around” everywhere. Would you be surprised if you got some nag-mail from paraplegics? Please, keep making art, but be welcoming of these unanticipated responses.

  2. Hi Ben, thanks for your comment. It must be very frustrating for you with your hearing problems and the problems you have with the hearing aid you use. I’m glad you’ve shared your experience here in connection with my Reverse Listening Device. I hope that you have raised your hearing aid issues with your doctors and hearing aid manufacturer and that they can help improve your situation.

    I’m a little confused as to why you are criticising my object because of your hearing difficulties and the faults of your hearing aid.

    My simple aim, as I talk about above, was to experience what it would be like to hear sounds coming from my left, through my right ear and vice versa. Since showing my invention it seems that many other people are intrigued to experience this also.

    In relation to your comment and hearing problem I would say it is a good thing that more people can gain a better understanding of this listening experience by using my device and to feel how confusing it can be.

    I’m sorry if you have misunderstood my intention and wish you good luck in improving your personal hearing experience. best wishes Dominic

  3. Hi Dominic, Love the device.
    Just for interests sake…..

    The audiological community have experimented with this type of thing in hearing aids in the past (two hearing aids joined by wires such that the mic from one hearing aid is linked to the amplifier and speaker/earpiece of the other) there are some small benefits to doing this in terms of reducing the likelihood of the hearing aids whistling (in the same way that keeping a mic away from a loudspeaker/PA system stops feedback).

    Of course it is a bit disorientating at first but from memory, with consistent use people adapt to the “sounds from the wrong side” effect quite quickly and could localize sounds quite well.

    All the best with your projects, they are fab.

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