Trust your ears.

It seems a simple instruction, in the teaser video for this project by Stockholm-based producer/composer Håkan Libdo. But for those of us used to having vision, focusing in on one sense – even the sense on which we rely for music and sound – can be an extraordinary experience. If digital interface design has done anything, it has forced new ways of looking at design across senses, and not just in a weary repetition of “we always do it this way.”

Playing tennis in InvisiBall becomes a new experience. Sonic cues along direct the ball from side to side. And apart from experiencing the game – blindfolded or even as a non-seeing person – the result can be a performance. Developed with programmers Magnus Frenning and Jonatan Liljedahl, the game relies on three-dimensional sound and senses user play, a new musical game.

A computer, while tracking the players, seamlessly mixes sonic cues with a musical soundtrack, so that the results are melodic and not only sound effects. Played in a darkened room, the rackets emit infrared light. Wiimotes here don’t move, as they do when playing games like Nintendo’s Wii Tennis; instead, they’re just IR sensors.

An audience gets to “see” the position of that invisible ball, so that spectating is a slightly different sensation; a TV displays where the ball would be.

More information on Håkan Libdo’s site; he tells us this could be making appearances at festivals this year. (So… if you’ve got a festival, and you’re reading… uh, send CDM some tix, too, and we’ll visit?)

  • whaoo, really great, in the concept and as a teaser .! Hope we'll see some place to test this in many countries, of course for real blind people, but also for the blind we are too !
    " trust the force" as he said .

  • kid versus chemical

    Create Digital Sports!   I'm more of a digital baseball man myself.

  • This immediately brought to mind the iPhone game Bing-Bong from 2009:

    It is very similar in concept, albeit of course on a smaller scale than Invisiball.