What's new

  • 2016-07-28: Preview release 0.9 available for Linux, Windows, and Android!

  • 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.

What it is

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.

What's it good for

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.

Why it's different

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.

How it works

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.

Try it out

Kromophone Version 0.9 Preview Release

Kromophone 0.9 is still an alpha release, which means it's got most of the functionality, but there's still a bit more tweaking left to do.

Don't forget to report issues you encounter.

Download the latest source code

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 There are a couple of dependencies:


Kromophone 0.9 Preview
  • Consistent UI and Features across all platforms
  • New QML-based GUI
  • The old settings are back and controllable: Sweep, Average
  • Wiimote controls are back! Instructions coming soon...
  • Kromophone runs really well on a Raspberry Pi 3! Instructions coming soon...
Kromophone 0.3 Alpha
  • Replace OpenCV with QtQuick Camera
Kromophone 0.2 Alpha
  • Numerous bugfixes
  • Improved responsiveness
  • Synchronised Android and Desktop releases
Kromophone 0.1 Alpha
  • Initial release of new Kromophone code.

Older Versions

Older versions can be found at the Sourceforge Page.

Run it on a Raspberry Pi

It runs quite well on a Raspberry Pi. Instructions for setup are coming soon. If you'd rather purchase a pre-made sdcard, please contact us.