Musical Desks at Work: Lexus Helps Workforce Trip

So you’ve been reading ths site long enough to see lots of interactive tables — alternative musical interfaces that involve moving blocks around a surface. But what practical use would this ever have, you say? Clearly, outfitting the workplace of the future — or at least so says Lexus to its designers, which is equipping them with interactive desks. The Ecco Design Personal Pond desk (Trendir story) creates soothing music and lighting effects while you move around your hands or two stones on the table. And this helps us be more productive — how, exactly? Nonetheless, it’s nice to see …

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Open Source Interfaces for Sound: d-touch Tagged Blocks

Here’s even more open source code for creating new sound interfaces using free-moving blocks for control. We looked at Sonicforms, which is both intended as a project and a repository for information. Chris’ project uses a projector aimed at a tabletop for additional feedback, and IR lights for sensing. That adds cost to the system and makes it less portable (though it does provide a cooler visual interface.) The d-touch project, in contrast, uses tags on the blocks that are recognized by a simple webcam (fiducial recognition). Advantage: no projector, no fancy interface, ultra-portable, ultra-cheap. Sure, you lose out on …

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Tabletop, Block-Based Music Making: The List

There's been an explosion of so-called "tangible interfaces" for music: the basic scenario is, there's a table, possibly with projections, and little blocks or objects or projected thingies you can play around with and move to produce sound. (Tangible = something physical you can move or touch, as opposed to an interface that's intangible, like the filter routing in Apple Logic's Ultrabeat, which was designed by aliens who would rather use mental telepathy for control.) Lately, there have been nearly weekly introductions of slight variations on this theme, so many that if you've been reading interactive tech blog near near …

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