Sonification?

We build, test, and research lightweight wearable sensor units that convert motion into sound. Users receive precision, real-time data about body position through changes in a tone’s pitch and volume. We aim to push the boundaries of research by sonifying explosive sport movements, like pitches (baseball), passes (football), squats and cleans (weightlifting), starts (cycling), and high jumps (track and field).

Build Wearables

PCBs, sensors, enclosures, and assembly: We build wearable physical devices that track body motion through 3D space and generate sound.

Design Sonifications

Mathematical representations of motion, mappings from motion into sound, and algorithms for learning intended motion. We develop the code needed to make our devices work.

Test and Research

Can your brain really use the ultra-fast changes in sound produced during sonification? Does listening to this sound improve learning and performance of complex sport movements? We test these questions.

Art vs Perception

Many applications today treat sonification as a form of expression or art: Sonification applications often use sensed motion to control a melody or piece of music, or give users a rhythm to follow. These apps create something artistic, but abstract away from the fine details of motion and don’t give users an improved stream of information about body position. Our sonifications are a form of precision sensory substitution, or sensory augmentation. Natural proprioception is slow, suppressed, and inaccurate. We aim to bypass natural proprioception and deliver accurate position information to the brain faster, using sound. The aim is to give users a way literally to perceive their movement better than they normally would.

For Researchers

Are you a researcher at a university working on sonification? We can help you build your own physical unit, or build one for you, for much less cost and time than it would take to do it from scratch.

For Coaches

Do you run a team of elite athletes for whom a thousandth of a second or a few millimetres is the difference between winning and losing? We will build a bespoke sonification system for your purpose and help you implement it into your program.

For Athletes

Are you a local athlete in the Toronto area? Interested in a demo or taking part in research? We’re always looking for local partners to give feedback and help in product development.

Applications Under Development

Currently the follow applications are under active development:

  • Squats: depth, back alignment, hip and back alignment
  • Calisthenics holds like front levers: relative limb and body angles
  • Standing Starts (cycling): hip thrust, back alignment
  • Single-arm throws: pitches (baseball), passes (American football)

If you’re interested in other potential applications, like Olympic lifts or track and field events, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

The Vision

Performance Sonification is a new company pushing the boundary of human performance. We work at the cutting edge of engineering, neuroscience, psychophysics, and introspective phenomenology. What makes us unique is how we combine these perspectives, mining substantive insights from each to push our vision forward. That vision sees audition (hearing) as an information channel that can be used to bypass the limits of natural proprioception to improve bodily awareness, putting us in better contact with our bodies. Currently, we’re still at the prototyping phase, doing research and development, including testing effectiveness, but we hope to launch proven flexible, consumer-grade units in the near future.

The Science

Much research has already been done on sonification, demonstrating its effectiveness in a wide range of cases, from sport to rehab. The brain is deeply plastic and deeply multimodal. This means that if a sensory modality provides usable information, the brain often will learn to use it. Bodily awareness and motor control is not limited to just the stretch receptors in your muscles and joints. The brain naturally uses visual and auditory information as well. Many common examples demonstrate the deep connection in the brain between sound and the body, including the obvious way in which we use music beats to guide dance or the common experience of tactile “tingles” in ASMR in response to sound.