THE FUTURE IS APPS
MY DREAM APP
This assignment was an exercise of imagination and explores the potential use and intelligence of our hand held devices. I was asked to create a mobile app without limiting myself to current mechanical standards. I used this as an opportunity to explore my passion in music, user experience, and entertainment design.
PROBLEM & OPPORTUNITY
THE ELECTRONIC GAP
Electronic music has seen a growth in popularity in the last 30 years, but unfortunately it still has some hurdles to overcome to gain broader acceptance in live performance. Artists such as Amon Tobin have found impressive ways to create eye catching shows using projection mapping that compliment and enhance the music. These displays, however, are not cheap. Far too often shows feels confined and robotic, as a DJ stands behind a laptop, twisting nobs and punching buttons on a table. Beyond visual entertainment, there is often a lack understanding and appreciation surrounding the skills required for such music production, because the auditory techniques and creative process are not transparent.
This app merges electronic music and the human body, creating a physical performance that is more relatable and is a fun way to experience, make, and share music with friends.
TRANSFORM YOUR BODY INTO A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
MOSIC is a MIDI controller, freed from the confines of a tablet, and expressed through the human body. Slide your phone in your pocket and start dancing! MOSIC uses your phone’s motion-sensors and radar (a future effect on your phone) to precisely record and sync your movements to prerecorded sound. Partner your movement with MOSIC’s mixing bed of digital, sampled, and analog sound.
HOW IT WORKS: Imagine your body is surrounded by a sphere of particles. Each particle is charged with a programmed sound. When a particle becomes excited or touched, it emits a sound. Your phone’s ‘radar’ is the particle sphere. MOSIC allows you to program sounds in the sphere and emits them according to your body’s proximity within the sphere.
A VISUAL SIMULATION
(The performer here is using light reflecting technology but the concept is similar)
- MY PROFILE: Create a visual diagram to build your drum set by measuring the distance between your phone and key body joints.
- DRUM SETS: Partner your movement with a mixing bed of digital, sampled, and analog sound. Drag sounds to desired area in sphere
- EFFECTS: Allow you greater control over your performance. Change the pitch or change the loop length of a sound. Volume and pitch can be set at relative or static according to proximity to a sound.
- PLAY: Press the green button, slide phone in your pocket and start dancing!
Kids and young Adults
Smartphone APP Competitors:
- Portable/Hand Held Music Devices
- GyroSynth-hand held gesture driven music synthesizer
- SoundPrism-Intuitive sound creation tool
- Figure-sound production through reason
- I Am Sampler-simple musical sampler
The illustration of this app is inspired by early pixilated video games from the 80s and 90s. I used a bright color palate, gleaned from games of that period. The graphics are boxy and intentionally a bit crude.
Although this was intended as a theoretical exercise, I have spoken to a few programmers to see if it could become reality. Similar devices exist, including: the theremin, an electronic music device, invented in the 1920s, that requires no physical contact and is played by the relative positioning of the performers hands to two metal antennas; 3D light sensors that sync body movement with computer actions (currently being used in the gaming industry and in expressive dance); and computerized gesture-control gloves.
The relative positioning technology for mobile use currently doesn’t exist, however it is on its way to being developed. Radar chips (micro radar technology) and advancements in Virtual Reality are making the app appear more tangible. The possible uses for such technology would be immense and could have a range of uses beyond music, including sign language.
I’m excited too see where technology leads us in coming years. It is truly an exciting time to be in the field design.