AUDEO Device

AUDEO device - Echolocation at Ultrasound

Environmental perception is critical to all aspects of daily living. An individual must understand where they are within the environment to be able to assess options such as reaching, stepping, rotating and locomoting. For most individuals, the first environmental assessment is accomplished with vision. Perception occurs based on light stimulus and action follows. Gibson argues that direct perception resulting from invariants in the light stimulus are cause for action. If individuals have minimal or no vision, hearing can also be used for situating one’s self within an environment. Can an individual perceive similar invariants through a sound array to allow for direct perception?

A prototype device was developed to enable direct perception from acoustic flow.  

Three iterations of device, first with boxes at ears, finishing with device to fit in ear.

Several Tests were conducted to see if people could use the sound to figure out distances, avoid obstacles and generally understand their surroundings. 

Distance judgement:

People were asked to judge distances up to 3 m away based on the sounds they heard. What you hear is what the individual doing the test heard (it is a recorded signal superimposed on the video).

Judging distance with receivers facing forward

Acknowledgements to Shane Pinder and Alan Deacon.

AMP National Scholarship (New Zealand) video of me "doing my thing"
AdviceFirst's Regional Award (Auckland)

Aperture Passage 

Hear the effects of passing through an aperture with the receivers facing in two different directions.  What you hear is what the individual doing the test heard (it is a recorded signal superimposed on the video). 

What are the benefits of each? 

AUDEO receivers facing outward

AUDEO device with receivers facing forward

To learn more about the studies done using this device, you can check out the following:

Media Attention:

Dolphin technique gives blind new view of world. NZ Weekend Herald October 26,2013, pg. 6, article by Jamie Morton (

Inventor’s vision. East and Bays Courier, October 25, 2013 Front Page, article by Karina Abadia (

Inventor’s vision to help blind, Central Leader, pg 15, October 25, 2013 . 

Visionary inventor helps blind, pg 3. Auckland City Harbour News October 30, 2013

Inventor’s vision leads way for blind, pg 6, Manukau Courier, October 31, 2013

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Claire Davies,
Oct 29, 2013, 6:51 PM