Sensor-Fitted Ball Creates New UX Language for Music-Making
A new fluid language for interacting with product is emerging, with sensor-driven technology enabling consumers to ditch the screen in favour of more exciting engagement experiences. Translating this into music, London-based Oddball Studios has released a palm-sized sensor-fitted device that users bounce to create electronic music.
Oddball acts as a percussion trigger, communicating any impact experienced on the device’s surface to a paired mobile app, which plays back the sound through speakers or headphones.
The ball is pressure-sensitive, meaning that users can increase the intensity of the sound by bouncing it more forcefully. The thick rubber exterior covering the ball protects the internal technology, allowing users to safely kick, hit and juggle the device to create sounds that express the unique character of one’s movements and environment.
Via the mobile app, users can loop sounds to create multilayered solo performances and the playback can be altered further to achieve high-quality audio effects in real time.
Oddball liberates the process of making and recording music from the studio and computer to reframe everyday surroundings as an inspirational landscape for creativity. This spontaneous, body-centred interaction with product reflects the spirit of our A/W 19/20 Design Direction Burst, which explores how tech is breaking down the barrier between the digital and physical world to incite playful and exciting user experiences.
This personal engagement with product is a trend that will continue to evolve as consumers seek emancipation from their screens without losing touch with tech. For more on this emerging trend, see Motions for a Mixed Reality in our 2018 Look Ahead.