Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
The word "How?" springs to mind at this point.

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frequency translator

Translate audio into vibrations
  (+15, -1)(+15, -1)
(+15, -1)
  [vote for,

A wristwatch-shaped device for deaf people that translates high-frequency noises into low-frequency vibrations, so it becomes possible to hear a doorbell, a ringing telephone, or someone shouting at you from a direction you're not looking into. (How does one tell---can one tell---a ring from a talking voice? Maybe regularity of a signal can make up for volume.)
jutta, Nov 25 1998

On Atmos http://www.webcom.c...urray/atmospic.html
Nice analog device. Can you convert a bell or buzzer to ring every, say, 3rd or 8th tone instead of persistently? [reensure, Nov 25 1998]

Hearing colours http://www.halfbake...a/Hearing_20colours
sight => sound [egnor, Nov 25 1998]

Hair cell recruitment http://www.hyperacu...uitment/default.asp
The brain covers you for hair cells you have lost, but at some expense [Sunstone, Sep 05 2010]

The opposite, but fascinating. http://www.youtube....watch?v=I0lmSYP7OcM
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Sep 05 2010]


       Not just useful for deaf people -- normal people could use it as a bat detector.
egnor, Mar 05 2000

       Yes -- very easy to lower the frequency. Multiply the audio signal with another high frequency tone, you then get sum and difference tones. Difference tones will be low, down to zero. (This is how FM radio works.) Put the low frrequency signal into a transducer like a speaker or vibrating solenoid. Different sounds will have different amplitude envelopes as well as (lowered) frequencies, and will feel different.
rmutt, Mar 25 2000

       If the device had a little computer in it, it could be trained to respond to the doorbell or telephone sound and "buzz" with an easy-to-learn pattern.
pitch, Jul 08 2000

       I'm 86% deaf in my left ear. 85% in the right. Right has hearing aid, left does not. Would cost $6000.00 to upgrade to the recommended equipment in both ears. I have traditionally worn The Most Powerful Hearing Aid In The World [and yes, I do a spot on imitation of Dirty Harry saying that] and I won't mention that word has gotten back to me that DeNiro wants to see my imitation of him being Crucified had he worked with Scorcese in Last Temptation of Christ, Butt I digest. If you adjust equalization settings in Hearing Aids you do so to equalize the line. In otherwords, If you naturally hear this: /\/\/...You adjust the equalization somewhat opposite:\/\/\...To flatten the response curves. If you or a loved one suffers from degenerative hearing loss or nerve deafness as in my case since birth, go to an Audiologist. If someone you know wears an aid but is missing on some frequencies, hopefully the current hearing aid can be better equalized. The hearing test is painless and free. Just wish the hearing aids were, too.
thumbwax, Sep 22 2000

       Edit: 2010 9 5 I had a proposed a device that would call up up functional hair cells, to use in place of nonfunctional hair cells, to hear sounds, albeit at a different frequency -- at least one would hear some resonant frequency rather nothing. I found today that the brain automatically compensates for loss of hair cells using something called "recruitment" of of other functional hair cells, but this can cause noise sensitivity problems that could be countered with noise cancellation technology, hopefully.
Sunstone, Sep 05 2010

       Suppose someone has hearing loss in both ears, but only for a range of frequencies (eg, suppose they can hear high notes but not low ones).   

       Could you arrange a hearing aid so that one ear would hear 'naturally' (missing out on the low notes), but the other one would hear down-shifted sounds, thereby hearing the [shifted] high tones? Would the brain eventually adapt to this?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 05 2010

       1998? I didn't know the bakery went back that far.
ldischler, Sep 05 2010

       The Halfbakery - Unfounded 1998.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 05 2010

       [+] how responsive is the average skin pressure nerve cell to vibrations: frequency range ? amplitude ?
FlyingToaster, Sep 06 2010

       I think you can detect vibrations up to at least a few hundred hertz. However, I'm not sure how much frequency discrimination there is, or whether it can be trained.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 06 2010

       After a lifetime of self inflicted aural abuse resulting in a highly predictable outcome, I'd like to give this invention a try. For reasons unknown, I am already highly sensitive to vibration. Here's a bun 12 years in the oven (please excuse it's appearance) [+]
Grogster, Sep 06 2010


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