2016-05-29: A new android release is out! This one works! Find it on the Play Store
2014-02-23: A new release is available for Linux, Windows, and Android! This version is considerably more responsive, and should work on a wider range of android devices.
2013-10-31: A new experimental android release is available! Try it out!
2013-07-13: The new website is up and the code is available.
The Kromophone is a color sonification device. This means it turns colors into sounds. It's a sensory substitution device, which means it turns sensory perceptions from one modality (i.e., color vision) into sensations in another (in this case, auditory perceptions).
The Kromophone is a computer application which runs on Linux, Windows, or Mac, and will take visual input from a webcam or static image file, and produce sound output. Development is underway for more mobile versions running on Android, Raspberry Pi, and even some custom hardware.
The Kromophone was developed for its users to be able to get around and make sense of their environment purely by auditory sensation. A secondary (but important) goal was to allow users a pleasing experience of visual artwork while blindfolded.
The Kromophone takes a different approach to sight-to-sound sensory substitution. It uses color information rather than just light intensity information, and does not perform any complicated object recognition. It lets the user's brain handle all of the complicated feeling and recognition.
The Kromophone takes the intensities of five different colors that you see (red, green, blue, yellow, and white) and maps them to the volume of five different sounds (high pitched trumpet, medium pitched violin, low pitched tuba, medium-high pitched organ, medium pitched tone). As the intensities of the colors in front of the camera change, the volume of these different colors change.
See Research And Development for more information.
Kromophone 0.3 (Android) / 0.2 (Windows, Linux) is still an alpha release, which means it's not really done, and probably broken in a lot of ways (but it's getting better!). Nonetheless, if you're itching to try it out, you can download it here:
Don't forget to report issues you encounter.
The Kromophone is an open source project (GNU GPL v3) which means that you're free to download the source code, make changes, and copy it for your friends as you see fit.
The official source code repository is on GitHub at https://github.com/zach-capalbo/Kromophone/. There are a couple of dependencies:
Older versions can be found at the Sourceforge Page.