color of sound – an exploration

February 13 | 2014

synapp 2.0 | design by pxlgirl

synesthesia is a neurological condition that allows to perceive sensory input with additional senses to the one it is directed to. I wrote an article that explains this phenomena more in depth. Given its subjective and individual nature, it is very hard for synesthetes to describe their experiences to the outside world. This makes research on the subject even harder. A few lucky ones happen to work in the creative industry or are otherwise artistically skilled are able to produce some imagery. Yet, from a scientific point of view, there’s no way to estimate the accuracy, nor can it be applied on a larger population. 

During my studies a few years back, I took on a project that might be able to shed light into the dark. The idea was to create an application, that allows users to visualize their experiences in real time while listening to a short sound clip and be able to compare their results with others. The challenge was to create a pool of shapes and lines that can be tracked down and analyzed, either for the users enjoyment, or scientific data. This how “synapp” was created. Its name is a mixup of the words “synesthesia”, “synapsis” and “application”.

Now that time has passed by, technology moved forward and more things have been learned, I decided it is time to re-design the whole project. So now, here comes “synapp 2.0”. The new UI is much more compact and minimalistic with an even smaller selection of usable elements. It might seem “not enough” at first sight, yet the features are the ones that give a huge amount of possibilities and variations, such as resizing/rotating, transparency levels gradients and blur. You can view the screenshots on my online. It also includes data visualization, which was omitted in the previous version. The new app would also be linking to a web site, where all the data is being hosted and processed. I have not yet finished working on a concept for this, but it would either be a community or an internal portal for researchers within a scientific project.

As for now however, this project is not yet put into practice. It would require a team of coders, testers and much more… and not to forget, funding. Maybe one day it will become real, I do believe it would benefit many synesthetes and those interested in the subject.

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