I’m pretty sure all of us, at one point of another in our lives, wanted to be superheroes. While gaining superhuman strength and flight capabilities is still problematic, a group of students came up with a solution to give people superhuman sight and hearing.

It’s only fitting that the devices designed by Royal College of Art in London students are in the shape of masks that enhance sensory perception. The project is called Eidos and although the prototypes themselves are relatively simple, the technology behind them is quite interesting.

The Masks that Give Superhuman Powers

The first prototype is designed to enhance the wearer’s hearing. It is worn over the ears, mouth and nose and with the help of a directional microphone, the wearer gains the ability to hear an isolated sound in almost any environment, no matter how noisy. While wearing the device, you can target any person in a crowd and clearly hear what that person says, without any of the surrounding noise.

The second prototype, designed to enhance the wearer’s sight, is of course worn over the eyes. It operates through a special camera that captures the video and transfers it to a computer. The computer then applies various effects to the video in real time and relays it back to the prototype and the wearer. With this system, you will be able to distinguish movement patterns very clearly, just like you would with the help of long-exposure photographs. In other words, you will be able to see someone’s movement frame by frame.

The students behind the project believe Project Eidos can have a broad range of applications in various fields that require audio and video analysis. It could be used by athletes to visualize and improve their technique, or in the arts, to enhance live performances. The technology could also be useful in the medical field, to boost sensory signals in aging or ailing patients.

The possibilities are practically limitless, because this technology, if it continues to develop, may mark a new step in human evolution. Just imagine a world in which our senses could be enhanced on command, in real time, and how we would experience everything around us through superhuman powers of hearing, sight, or touch.

Eidos – Sensory augmentation equipment (full version) from TJB on Vimeo.

[Image via Ubergizmo]