We perceive the world around us through our senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. New technologies, such as wearables and implants, are providing ways to give us information beyond the sense and are pushing the limits of human perception, especially when it comes to information about our own bodies.
As wearables become more advanced and available, people are becoming more and more interested in the data they can gather on their own health and fitness. Tracking devices are becoming smaller, more accurate and more integrated into the body.
What if the natural senses could be extended so that you could have more intuitive, real time knowledge of your wellbeing? Central Saint Martins Material Futures graduate Lesley-Ann Daly has designed three devices that allow the user to track their own health using sound. These devices make up the Anthropomorphic Sensory Augmentation collection, and include the Cardiac Monitor, Nutrition Tracker and the Toxicity Evaluator.
“Ultrasonic Intra-Body Communication enhances your sense of hearing. This enables you to hear numerous devices that are implanted in the body, which are tracking and communicating your physiological health data. By appropriating the intuitive qualities of sound, this communication method allows for a more visceral connection to the information and therefore the body,” explains Daly.
The Cardiac Monitor is implanted in the Pulmonary Artery in the heart, where it measures cardiac rhythms and overall heart health. As the heart is pumping, the changing pressure inside the artery is recorded and analysed by the device. The Cardiac Monitor allows you to be more aware of the impact that your movement and physical activity is having on your heart and overall fitness.
The Nutrition Tracker is implanted into your stomach. This device measures the levels of nutrients being absorbed into your blood from what you consume. Each nutrient is associated with a corresponding sound, for example Iron would sound different to Sucrose (sugar). Having constant track of the nutrient levels in your blood enables you to be more aware of your dietary health. Having constant track of the nutrient levels in your blood enables you to be more aware of your dietary health.
The Toxicity Evaluator is implanted into your Liver, where it measures the enzymes ALT (Alanine Transaminase) and GGT (Gamma-glutamyltrangerase). High levels of these enzymes in the blood are associated with liver damage caused by alcohol abuse. The device provides a warning sound for over consumption of high ABV or high volumes of alcohol, and if it is being consumed to rapidly for the liver to process.