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The Sound of Colors

Neil Harbisson is a living cyborg. I read about this on the TED Talk Blog today along with the infographic by Superinteressante Magazine (above) who have started taking classic TED Talks and visualizing them. I then watched Neil’s Talk from last year and I am now obsessed.

Neil was born without the ability to see colour, at 21 he had a color detector and chip implanted in his head that perceives color for him and transmits it as sound waves through his skull. A few years on and he has now reached the point where he can differentiate all the visible colors of the spectrum through their sound instinctively. On the other side of things, he has also started to instinctively perceive the natural sounds he hears as color.

He has even illustrated songs and famous speeches through the colors he hears. I think it is such a powerful idea, that color and sound can be integrated in such a way and how there is a potential difference between our emotional connections to color and sound. It made my mind race about the future possibilities for design. In the future, is it plausible that products, posters and websites are designed to look good when you hear them and sound good when you see them?

 It’s very, very attractive to walk along a supermarket. It’s like going to a nightclub. It’s full of different melodies… Especially the aisle with cleaning products. It’s just fabulous.

– Neil Harbisson.

I found this very interesting and wanted to share it, but I am a design geek that was brought up on sci-fi, so my opinion is skewed in favor of cyborg art. The TED Talk is below if you want to see it and make up your own mind.

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