Resolve-Ables: Visualize and Hear Ultrasonic Frequencies With a Third Ear

Chris Hill


Continuing my interest in wearable augmentations that visualize phenomena, I designed a “third ear” that enables you to listen and/or visualize ultrasonic frequencies. For perspective, the normal frequency range for humans is around 20Hz to 20kHz. We start with a max hearing of 20kHz as babies and as adults, our hearing declines to around 17kHz. With this third ear, you can detect frequencies between 20kHz to 100kHz, enabling brand-new sensing of your environment. You can hear the frequencies in real-time with a pair of wired headphones, or you can visualize the phenomena with a p5.js script. The device can also enable new perspective-taking, as you can hear frequencies similar to your dog (40kHz), your cat (64kHz), or a bat (100kHz).