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Thread: Umwelt Upgrade ~ Add-ons to the Human Sensory Package.

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Umwelt Upgrade ~ Add-ons to the Human Sensory Package.


    This TED by David Eagleman has got me to thinking.

    Eagleman is also know for research into Synesthesia and has a bestseller and PBS TV series about the Secret Lives of the Brain.

    He talks about utilizing under-used human sensory receptors (Such as skin tactile neurons on large patches of say your back) to restore or even add to the Human Sensory Package to perceive the world around us: Umwelt.

    This is not a new idea, as he explains in the video researchers used solenoid pins in a matrix interfaced with a camera to restore crude sight to the blind, with a tactile device resting in the small of the back, back in 1969.

    Where the idea really gets interesting is how any sort of matrix of sensors providing data can be used to educate to brain as to the proper interpretation. At the 11:00 mark we see him discuss the invention of his Grad Student that uses only 24 cell-phone vibrators scattered around the back to provide the deaf with meaningful auditory information.

    It works the same way you bar-graph visualization for you MP3 player works. The Auditory Spectrum is sliced into 24 chunks of frequency and the average signal strength for that chunk is fed to one of the vibrators where the intensity of vibration is proportional to signal strength.

    In very short order, a guy born deaf was able to recognize spoken words by the pattern induced on his back via these 24 vibrator motors.

    Eagleman and Norvich used Bluetooth for visualization effects (As I can't discern another reason) and say they expect the market-end product would cost about $2000 US.





    Eagleman goes on to speculate about other uses and notes how other animals use different sensors: Pit Viper Snakes --> Detect IR, Pigeons -->Detect the Earth's Magnetic Field, Bats--> Map using Ultrasound.

    Eagleman even ponders an Internet Awareness.

    -------------------------------------------------
    Where can we go with this?

    SENSOR MATRIX IDEAS

    One though I had was to provide visualization similar to the pioneer work by using a matrix of small disk Piezo buzzers sewn into a Lycra Tank-Top.

    These disk are 10mm across (.39") and I was thinking of a matrix of 324 of these (18x18) in a patch on the upper back that was 9"x9" in area. These things cost about a buck each but they vibrate at about 7kHz with a rather limited range of amplitude.

    Whereas these 10mm Linear Vibrator 'motors', for cell phone applications, vibrate in a range more in-tune with human detection (175Hz) and are basically little magnetic speakers without the paper cone in front. BUT they cost like $4 each.



    Maybe not at all unexpected, my first thoughts turn towards DARPA, but a rational place to start none the less. As Senses are tools for survival and survival comes at a premium cost on the battlefield. Indeed, I do know that the Military already uses a few vibrators against the skin for rudimentary communication in harm's way.

    I know there are advances in materials that morph shape when current is applied, but I can't think of the technologies atm.

    Any ideas about other types of tactile transmitters?

    What about Matrix ideas?

    So some ideas I've started out with:

    * An Eye in the back of your head.

    Using a regular B&W camera on an IC chip (which also functions as a high-range IR camera) and having the signaled pixelated to match our 18x18 skin transmitter grid:




    If the Camera was on say a headband we could twist it around and use it as a IR camera in the dark. (I'd suggest using a switch to invert the image to mirror when using from behind)

    For DARPA Applications, you'd probably want applications with passive detection. That is to say not produce any signal ourselves for a savvy enemy to detect.

    For example don't, as in-the-dark security B&W cams do, use IR LEDs to illuminate the surroundings for your IR camera.

    But maybe in a less Life & Death situation, we might say PING the world ahead in ultrasound and use a battery of U-S mics on say the helmet to, like bats, learn to map our surroundings in the dark.

    Past efforts such as this with deaf people have sent these signals to the ears via headphones for the user to de-code, but they balked at the loss of all the vital auditory information they we already making exceptional use of.

    Thus using something like a patch of skin on your back makes a lot more sense. And as for aiding the deaf, this sort of thing is already being done.

    Another idea I had was to incorporate in the aforementioned head-band a ring of vibrators to detect magnetic direction and/or direction to a known location via GPS tracking.

    This brings to mind another DARPA/Police application: Presence and Direction of telecommunication EM radiation. This is especially true of the foot-solder on a modern battlefield with all the electronic situational awareness gear that is out there today, but a cell phone would also betray its owner's location too.

    What are some other Energies in our daily environments we could exploit the personal detection of (Perceptions that would enhance our Umwelt)?
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    This illustration just for brain candy:

    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Another Idea geared mainly towards DARPA/Police (as far as I can conceive).

    Sensors on either side of the helmet that connect to a row of vibrators under the arms along the sides of the trunk to sniff for chemicals of importance. In stereo just like us so that we can localize it.

    Gun Powder
    expolsives
    etc.

    During the Vietnam war, the US researched using remote sensors parachuted into the jungle to detect odors common to humans.

    Another Idea just came to me.

    Like Sharks and other fish, detect and localize the electrical impulses of large animals.
    I have been told with a wink that there is some truth to Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 Human Heartbeat detector.
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Input from a Simul-Post elsewhere:

    Quote Originally Posted by pppp View Post

    I think this is a very innovative idea.

    Think of it this way. A lot of theorists can become very useful when they cross pollinate other disciplines..."it just give the field a different perspective. I have an example I will try to find later.

    With regard to your Umwelt example, as a young child, as a game we would draw on each others back to guess what was being written as a letter. So. I find this quite interesting that there may be some correlation to a form of sight here.

    More intrigue perhaps when you refer to synesthesia, as a sensory cross wiring that can take place in the brain.

    Such conversion processes do happened in the current science examinations as seen in relation to sonification. Quickly here, satellite descent on to Titan to gather information strictly by sound.

    This conversion process lets us look at the cosmos in differents ways as windows on the universe.

    We go through the whole spectrum in order to satisfied the range of devices we can manufacture in order to gather data. Such an examination is considered in relation to the WMAP. This as to how sound reveals the deeper intricacies of universe formation. This as B modes as to signatures of possible gravitational waves and the excitement? Well okay, it was dust, but the proces here is very interesting. Think of Helioseismology and the sun how we can look through the sun as to see what affect will be displayed and interrupt communications.
    Quote Originally Posted by dddd View Post
    This is really interesting and cool but with one concern. How much sensory information can the human mind handle, before it becomes sensory overload?
    Quote Originally Posted by pppp View Post
    Without some correlation to the conversion process, you might well be an artist that does not understand what others can't see but what the artist can take for granted. That is why I say sonification as a process has a conversion technique.

    For instance in my youth, sound to light was huge hit beside ordinary speakers

    Let's say they are doing experiments at LHC......with conversion process they play the tape.....what do they hear while they see the data in one way, may make it possible to see additional attributes of the experiment.

    With my own research I would not suggest Thalamtical oscillation without some understanding, as to recognizing a method of use as to intonation to set brain wave rhythms. Cymatics as an area of examination may find some correlate too, Vedic relations to sound. That is pure speculation on my part. So patterns in nature are important from this perspective as to say such schematic are real on Chaldni plates.
    Quote Originally Posted by pppp View Post
    Sure, a conversion process will be necessary to even begin to understand the new data. But I leapt further than that and didn't explain it.

    Consider concurrent data set inundation. How does your brain keep data sets separate or can integrate them sufficiently to not get confused? So much of our sensory intake and translation of, is embedded in the unconscious, hence uncontrollable. With a conversion process, this drags in the conscious mind which subsequently slows down the translation process a hundred fold. This can be very dangerous, reliant on environment and subsequent delayed actions or misinterpretations.
    Quote Originally Posted by OrionzRevenge View Post
    Hopefully it would reveal itself with warnings as we receive now.
    Fatigue, headaches, tension.

    Otherwise I imagine that, just is now with our normal range of senses, most times the brain will just let the data pass in & out until something unusual is detected.

    Imagine how much sensory information is being instantly dumped while you are flying down the interstate in a convertible with talk radio on.

    You see someone have a blow-out ahead of you and it's like instant alert on all channels.
    Quote Originally Posted by rrr View Post
    Inundation concerns wouldn't be much different, that I can see.

    Density of the brain is very sparse as I understand it, and there is a lot of room in a typical brain environment to increase densities - meaning more neuronal paths.

    The brain environment itself, is pretty unhealthy in some cases, like the US adult who drinks a six-pack of soda-pop a day. I'd say there's lots of room for improvement.
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

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    just dont think about it mhc's Avatar
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    you know, just only the other day i ventured to my front door outside, having freshly removed my boots. Nearly instantly i noticed that how under-observed those - at the moment - intense sensations were on my bare feet, and of the potential for increasing awareness.
    Just look at the blue sky

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhc View Post
    you know, just only the other day i ventured to my front door outside, having freshly removed my boots. Nearly instantly i noticed that how under-observed those - at the moment - intense sensations were on my bare feet, and of the potential for increasing awareness.
    Ideas are where you find them!

    A new DARPA-type idea:

    Metal Detector coils in the toe of the army boots wired to vibrators. (or some other form of tactile actuators - Given the urgent reactions needed, maybe a relatively low-voltage taser circuit)
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

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    a cantori Perdix's Avatar
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    Transhumanism is the shit.

    Want night vision?

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    I love picking up the Lingo while Spelunking.

    Haptic Feedback Actuators is the buzzword for these little buttons that push you back, and the field is growing.

    These look promising:

    http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/1308...srep02521.html



    It's an elastic polymer that expands when you apply current, and by constraining the edge, it bulges upward into the skin.

    1500 um is equal to 1.5 mm. So we're talking about form-factors possibly as small as 3 mm in diameter, or about the diameter of a headphones jack.

    I also like the fact that it isn't dedicated to just vibrating oscillations like Piezo Buzzers and Linear Cell-phone vibe 'motors', or even old school vibe motors that are truly motors with an off-center load on the axle.

    Another problem with these examples is that they propagate oscillating currents and/or magnetic fields. This could be an issue for any DARPA applications.
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

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    Tsundoku LordLatch's Avatar
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    How long before someone demands vibrating underwear to 'listen' to rock concerts and jackhammers.
    That's my poop stirrin' stick- Don't touch it! You don't know which end is the handle..

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordLatch View Post
    How long before someone demands vibrating underwear to 'listen' to rock concerts and jackhammers.
    LOL
    Ideas are where you find them.

    A tapered dildo or butt-plug with a series of Haptics that provides the sensation of thrusting.
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

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