Media Technology MSc

Sound Illusion Cube (2007)

Sound Illusion Cube The Sound Illusion Cube researches the question whether people can be spatially disoriented by combining localized sound with physical movement of the body. This research question was derived from the madhouse principle in amusement parks. In certain such madhouses, such as Villa Volta in the Efteling amusement park, visitors are subjected to a combination of moving floors and rotating rooms. This visual and gravitational input together create an illusion of disorientation and possibly even being spun upside down. The Sound Illusion Cube attempts to achieve similar disorientation, but by using audio instead of visual input. A subject is blindfolded and seated in a chair of which the movement can be controlled. Movement of the chair is tightly synchronized with the rotation around the subject of localized sound. This localized sound is generated from 8 speakers, one in each corner of the cube. Tests have shown that synchronizing the localized sound with movements of the chair does indeed enhance spatial disorientation and the illusion of being moved more than actually happens. In his project, student Thijs Eerens was able to combine his prior education in industrial automation with his fascination for sound and space.