Innovation for Independence

THEIA. New language for motion.

Publish date:
16/01/2015 - 10:43am
Last updated:
15/05/2015 - 9:54am
Katarzyna Zmyslona

THEIA uses a wireless network of sensors attached to athletes and equipment, combined with a translation engine that transforms every jump, goal, and race finish into musical and tactile expressions. These are transmitted to headsets equipped with speakers for a surround sound environment and an array of vibration motors for haptic feedback. For individual sports, THEIA directly interprets the athletes’ actions by measuring body positions, movements, and critical moments during a race. For team sports, THEIA generates a unique perspective by transporting the spectator into the rink. No longer confined to a bird’s eye view, spectators positioned in the center of the action can feel the rush of players moving around them. Feel every slalom turn, hear the thrill of scoring a goal. There is nothing similar on the market, as the emotions evoked by sounds is a new promising area.

Insight & Impact

“Oh, the irony that the only members of the crowd who can’t enjoy the blind football are those who can’t see.” (Damon Rose) For visually impaired spectators, the experience of a sporting event is reduced, at best, to limited audio commentary; at worst, a void of ambient noise. However, these events need not be exclusively visual -- instead, we are reimagining movement as a sensory symphony. Theia enables people to experience amplified emotions during exciting sporting events, bringing closer new stimuli, that have never been exposed before. Just as listening to a favorite piece of music evokes certain sensations, THEIA provokes imagination. In the future, we envision THEIA as both a new language and a new experience, not only redefining the way we comprehend traditionally visual information, but also enhancing reality through visceral stimuli. Why limit ourselves to written or verbal modes of communication when we can take advantage of multiple sensory platforms? If movement is a universal expression, the means of understanding it should be as well. We developed the idea contacting Michael Brace C, who is visually impaired, former paralympic skier, social worker and leader of disabled charities. He was Chief Executive of Vision 2020 UK and served as Chairman of the British Paralympic Association Your perception amplified, through movement sonification.

Skills needed for this project

  • Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Marketing
  • Start-up guidance