Ontenna

GOOD DESIGN 2016 AWARD BEST 100

A new user interface where you can experience sound through strands of hair.

Ontenna is a brand new device which is worn on the hair like a hairpin, and through vibrations and light, will transmit the unique features of sound to the user. The concept of this device is to "experience sound through strands of hair, much like the whiskers of a cat can sense movements in the air," and has been developed in co-operation with deaf persons.

The structure of Ontenna

By converting sound pressure in the range of 30dB to 90dB into 256 levels of vibrations and light intensity, the unique features of a sound are transmitted to the user. By converting the cadence pattern of a sound source in real time into vibrations and light, a user can experience the sensation of a sound's rhythms, its patterns, and its volume.

<p>The built-in microphone detects sound from the surrounding area</p>

The built-in microphone detects sound from the surrounding area

<p>The detected sound pressure is converted into 256 levels of vibrations and light</p>

The detected sound pressure is converted into 256 levels of vibrations and light

<p>The rhythms and patterns of the sound can be  experienced as sensations through your hair</p>

The rhythms and patterns of the sound can be experienced as sensations through your hair

Ontenna's history

The Ontenna project was launched with the theme "to expand the human body and its senses," and together with deaf persons, we set out to research and develop a new audio sensory device.

The progress of Ontenna

After conducting a thorough re-examination of the basic design, I endeavored to create a truly accessible user interface for deaf persons.

<p><strong>An early prototype</strong><br />
With issues such as an exposed circuit board, and the necessity of a separate power source, not enough considerations were made to ease-of-use.</p>

An early prototype
With issues such as an exposed circuit board, and the necessity of a separate power source, not enough considerations were made to ease-of-use.

<p><strong>Making it smaller, easier to use</strong><br />
By making the circuit board smaller, standalone operation was now possible. In order to more easily attach the device to the hair, we incorporated a hairpin design.</p>

Making it smaller, easier to use
By making the circuit board smaller, standalone operation was now possible. In order to more easily attach the device to the hair, we incorporated a hairpin design.

<p><strong>Fine tuning the exterior design</strong><br />
In making the entire body thinner, and devising ways to hide the metallic parts of the spring, our goal was to create a form that was more natural, and easier to wear.</p>

Fine tuning the exterior design
In making the entire body thinner, and devising ways to hide the metallic parts of the spring, our goal was to create a form that was more natural, and easier to wear.

What the future holds for Ontenna

By making Ontenna programmable, so that it can become compatible with a variety of situations necessary for users, our goal is to evolve this device so that it can create new sensory experiences.

In the future, Ontenna will become a device which can detect the tone and timbre of a sound.

Currently we are developing a function primarily for recognition of sound intervals. With this feature, it may become possible for users in the future to sense the tone and timbre of a sound.

Open innovation

Ontenna is an "open innovation" project involving many people from around the world. Our belief is that anyone can become involved with Ontenna, and that together, with everyone's help, we can make it an even better device.

Contact

Honda Tatsuya
本多 達也

info@ontenna.jp