PHOX Ears: A Parabolic, Head-mounted, Orientable, eXtrasensory Listening Device

Kleinberger, Rebecca and Dublon, Gershon and Paradiso, Joseph A. and Machover, Tod

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The Electronic Fox Ears helmet is a listening device that changes its wearer’s experience of hearing. A pair of head-mounted, independently articulated parabolic microphones and built-in bone conduction transducers allow the wearer to sharply direct their attention to faraway sound sources. Joysticks in each hand control the orientations of the microphones, which are mounted on servo gimbals for precise targeting. Paired with a mobile device, the helmet can function as a specialized, wearable field recording platform. Field recording and ambient sound have long been a part of electronic music; our device extends these practices by drawing on a tradition of wearable technologies and prosthetic art that blur the boundaries of human perception.