Empathear: A designed system to simulate auditory hallucinations


Sarah Mokhtar and Edgar Rodríguez Ramírez


P4. Towards universal solutions

Date and Time

2014-06-17, 12:00 - 13:45


MA 10
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Design Case

Presentation PDF

Poster presentation


This design case presents the process to develop Empathear, a system that simulates the experience of “hearing voices”. Hearing voices can be a symptom of mental illness such as schizophrenia. The voices can affect greatly the life of voice hearers. Empathear aims to show family members a part of the experience their loved ones live everyday, with the goal of creating the conditions for empathy. Empathear consists of a wearable device that records environmental noise and wirelessly plays voices that react to the environments through subtle earphones. An App was also developed with the same capabilities as the scarf. Initial testing with families of people with schizophrenia and assessments by the Supporting Families Organization New Zealand indicate that Empathear can be a helpful tool for creating a better understanding of hearing voices.