The science of “sonification” uses acoustic signatures to convey information about complex data and helps discover hidden patterns. Simple examples are the Geiger counter or a ship’s sonar, but in recent years, the concept has been extended to physics applications (to measure everything from plasma and gravitational waves to understanding elements of the periodic table via their different vibrational frequencies). The advantage of sonification is that our ears can detect patterns our other senses can’t, across temporal, spatial, amplitude, and frequency dimensions. In a study presented to the 21st International Conference on Auditory Display last year, researchers from the University of York in the UK looked at real-time sonification of biceps curl exercises by male participants. The researchers used muscular activity and kinematics (the study of motion of objects), metrics they generated using a muscle sensor and Kinect camera. The experimental results showed sonification – or “hearing” their bicep curls – helped subjects improve the pacing of their movement and resulted in greater average repetition range and total effort. Another significant result, said the researchers, was that “participants enjoyed the training more with the sonification than without. Positive comments were made on the sound feedback. The study demonstrates the potential for a real-time, auditory feedback-oriented training device to be used in fitness training or physical rehabilitation.”