The Escape Headphones

00clostropj.jpgYop! Another nice project from the Work in Progress Show of Interaction Designs at RCA.

The Escape Headphones, by Chris Woebken, allow you to explore the phobia of enclosed spaces, and ultimately even enjoy having this phobia. Everyone experiences this fear in some form, as claustrophobia is not only the fear of enclosed places, but a fear of not having an easy escape route.

Inspired by the way blind people perceive their environment with their acute sense of hearing, the designer got interested in experimenting with the acoustic perception of places.

The proximity-sensing headphone is an experimental sonic device that allows small spaces feel much larger than they are. While most portable listening devices usually mask your environment with a soundtrack, this device aims to create a playful sonic experience. This device might also create a special interest in exploring small places.

Although the enclosed space in the exhibition room was not very frightening, the headphones seemed to do what they claim. Or maybe i am so claustrophobic myself that i’d buy anything that promises to save me from walking up 6 floors because i’m chicken out when the lift is too tiny.

Image by Sutje.