This mask gives you superhuman abilities

Story highlights

Students at the Royal College of Art have created masks that can give enhanced sight and hearing

First mask uses a microphone to isolate a specific sound in a noisy environment

The other, worn over the eyes, can apply visual effects seen by the wearer in real time

CNN  — 

Fans of “Iron Man,” take notice: A group of students at the Royal College of Art in London have created two masks that can give you superhuman sight and hearing.

The first prototype covers the wearer’s ears, mouth and nose and uses a directional microphone to give him the ability to hear an isolated sound in a noisy environment. For example, you could target a person in a crowd and clearly hear his words without the surrounding noise.

The other prototype is worn over one’s eyes. A camera captures video and sends it to a computer, which can apply a set of effects to it in real-time and send it back to the wearer. One can, for example, use it to see movement patterns, similar to the effects of long-exposure photography.

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The team behind project Eidos — Tim Bouckley, Millie Clive-Smith, Mi Eun Kim and Yuta Sugawara — see many possible applications of this technology. For example, one could use the visual mask it to analyze movement and technique in sports. In another example, concert-goers could use the hearing mask to focus on a certain performer at a concert.

“We are used to controlling the world around us to find the settings that suit us best. But while technology advances to aid this, our physical bodies remain the same. What if we had the same control over our senses? If we could adjust them in real time, what experiences would this make possible,’ they ask.

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Though the Eidos prototypes are relatively simple, the ideas behind the project are interesting. With wearable tech being the talk of the town as of late, one has to wonder if Google Glass, for example, could be paired with visual or auditory augmentation technology to “improve” your senses.

What superhuman abilities would you like to gain from wearable tech? Share your ideas in the comments.