Things You Can Tell Just By Listening To



Things You Can Tell Just By Listening to is an wireless interactive toy that helps users to better understand what doctors hear with stethoscope. Placing the bell of stethoscope on the dolls triggers audio clips of internal body sounds of humans such as heart beats and lung sounds, which physicians use as a diagnostic clue. 


Problem to Solve

When I had worked as a general practitioner at fast-track pediatric clinic, I used to stethoscope to hear lung sound to differentiate diagnose upper respiratory track infection and lower respiratory track infection. One of the questions I received often from outpatient kids were: "Do you hear something with that(stethoscope)?" Because it was a fast-track where more than 100 outpatient visit per day, I didn't have enough time to help them experience what it is like to use the stethoscope. After leaving the medical field and starting to study interaction design field, I wanted to create interactive toy regard to it.


Target User

Primary user are 6-8 years of toddlers who has a curiosity on stethoscope. Secondary users are parents who have 6-8 years old kids.


Concept development

To mimic the behavior is an wireless interactive toy that made for an educational purpose. User can listen different internal human body sounds by placing the stethoscope on two gingerbreadman dolls. Yellow gingerbreadman represents healthy human body while green one has some abnormal features that are in needs of further work-ups, such as atrial septal defect, asthma, and hypertension.




When the user puts the diaphragm of the stethoscope under the guidance of display on the laptop monitor, the RFID(Radio-Frequency Identification) reader mounted inside of the stethoscope detects the RFID tags hidden under the felt dolls and then sends the data to the computer via bluetooth device to trigger the matching sound clips. The audio files are played back by bluetooth headphone that is attached to the stethoscope. The User can hear three different sound files from each of the dolls, based on the location of RFID tags: heartbeat (on left side of chest), breath sound (on right upper back), and the sounds that are heard when blood pressure is measured manually (on left forearm).


Demo Video




Design/Development/Fabrication: Hiye Shin