Hearables, Pt. 1
Last Week A Scientist Called Hooke A “Hearable”
It exhausts me. It slows the momentum of progress. It puts a stake in the ground the minute any innovator gets their wheels turning that says “Just so you know! Even though you’re not quite to market yet, you’re totally a VR tool.”
Must we pin a google-able label on every innovation? Must everything fit within a family of hashtags?
It can be hard to break out of grooves made for us by the influential and powerful, But we can do it.
“Hearable” SIMPLIFIES, AND we’re not giving our audience enough credit
During my years as a theater designer, I came across a ton of directors who thought every onstage death needed to land hard right in the laps of every audience member. They would do everything they could to make sure audiences really knew the character had breathed their last. As if the crowd would somehow miss it otherwise, insane amounts of blood were employed, the actor would fall and gasp for air, fiercely grope at the floor, and then, always the kicker, some supporting character would feel compelled to say, “YES, YES, HE’S DEAD.”
This is how I feel when we label a new technology like Hooke as a “Hearable.” I created Hooke because consumers haven’t been given enough agency over capturing sound in their lives.
Of course I have also seen powerful stage deaths. One in particular, designed by a close collaborator of mine, Bart Cortright (www.bartcortright.com): the production had several old television screens incorporated into its set that displayed various subliminal and supportive images throughout the play. In one scene, a character walked offstage to kill himself and the screens displayed the word “RED” as blood slowly oozed down them. This message of death not only fit the play’s aesthetic world, but it drew a wider, more complex reaction. It was deep and beautiful and allowed the audience to engage with the play on a different level.
I want Hooke to be your Hooke. Not your hearable or your AR tool for VR consumption or your wearable or your health monitor. Just, your Hooke. To do with as you please.
Learn more in part 2 of my Hearables series:
From One Ear To Another,