TAPIR: theoretically audible, but practically inaudible range

The “theoretically audible, but practically inaudible range” (TAPIR) is the highest area of human hearing bandwidth, which is barely perceptible for most people but can be transmitted and received by stereotypical transducers. We believe TAPIR has a strong potential as a new media for music, sonic arts, and mobile media. The research discussed includes the development of TAPIR systems for acoustic location, gesture/motion detection, and proximity detection/user identification.


  • The TAPIR Acoustic Locater (TAL)
    TAL is a prototype of TAPIR-powered location system based on the time-of-arrival (ToA)
  • IAMHear (TAL-based tabletop interface)

IAMHear is a novel tabletop interface for music performance and sound making, in which smart mobile devices are used as on-table objects for interaction. The system allows for acoustic location mechanism using virtually inaudible sound without any special sensors, making itself simpler in structure and easier to implement. As a music sequencer, IAMHear enables the user to make music by placing objects on table. Pitch and timbre of sounds are determined by the location/orientation of tabletop objects as well as ambient noise.

  • Data transmission via TAPIR signal

Website address text is transmitted to a mobile device via TAPIR signal (sounds at high frequency bands).


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