Shih-wen ‘Angela’ Chen
Shih-wen (Angela) is a UX/interaction designer and creative technologist from Taipei, Taiwan. Angela enjoys employing her creativity and enthusiasm in understanding and solving problems to serve human via design & technology. An alto choral singer with hearing loss, Angela currently focuses on universal design & assistive technology with music.
A real-time and personal singing coaching app for singers with hearing loss on iOS and Apple Watch, offering a tailored guide to help them stay on pitch.
Singers with hearing loss may have trouble staying on pitch or determining pitch-correctness. Pitch differences within some small range may sound the same to them. Even though they have a voice reference, such as an accompanying instrument or another singer, it would still be very hard to recognize and compare the pitches of their own voice to those of that reference. To adjust pitch and practice to sing better, they always rely on assistance and feedback from another singer with normal hearing. During the practicing process, the feelings of insecurity and frustration keep dampening their confidence.
Shine is the tool to (re)build the confidence by transcribing hearing into seeing and feeling. With Shine, singers with hearing loss can (re-) acquire the ability to independently develop sense of musical pitches, and sing confidently.
Shine provides a real-time pitch visualization of user’s own voice and correct pitch (from a pre-recorded voice reference), for user to compare and adjust pitch instantly when practicing. Shine also offers a haptic metronome powered by Apple Watch — user can feel the beats in place of hearing/looking at the metronome, thus enabling them to focus on pitch when practicing singing. Optionally, user’s last pitch history can also be displayed during practicing as a hint to remind them where the inaccuracy may happen. It becomes easy for user to evaluate their effort and track their progress, with which user can develop their confidence and feel secure while singing.
The overall goal of Shine is to pose as a supporting tool during singers’ practicing, and with Shine, singers with hearing loss will eventually be able to support themselves without relying on other singers during practices. I believe everyone has the potential to shine on the stage, if they find a right way to go. I envision it is their shine that defines these singers, not their hearing loss.