Interdisciplinary teams were tasked to create a toy that blends human interactions with electronics. Our initial ideas dealt with music and sound, and their ability to bring communities and individuals together. Considering games and toys that played with education, skill-building, and team involvement were among the first iterations of the project. Our team was comprised of members that have backgrounds in industrial design, computer science, architecture, and interaction design.
Music brings people together
Music has proven to be an energy that unites people across different walks of life. Bringing individuals together – friends and strangers alike – through the mutual creation of sound by giving way to a new form of physical and audible interaction.
process and Prototyping
Starting with sound as our basis of interaction, we began brainstorming methods of making music from scratch, changing pre-recorded sounds, increasing or decreasing the volume of a sound, transferring sounds through different objects, identifying objects based on sound, etc. However, we wanted to differentiate this experience from being a musical instrument to something more.
Learning to play an instrument is difficult, time consuming, and primarily done alone. There is an inherent lack of multi-person interaction, so in order to gamify the experience of creating music, SENS cubes engage people by incorporating sensors that react to each person’s distance from a wall or the other cubes. Using a mirror as a wall serves as a reflection of the interaction and further increases a playful engagement.
how it works
The cubes begin together with a short enough distance between each, so that they make noises to attract users. When the cubes are separated or are out of a certain distance, they begin playing sounds at different octaves.
Our team went through several iterations while connecting sounds to our physical prototypes. Each medium provided varying shortcomings and benefits based on the music or instrument that we wanted to curate. Different melodies, chords, and notes were all toggled with in the process. Below is a simplified display of our development.