New Technologies Transforms Everyday Objects Into Music Makers

New Technologies Transforms Everyday Objects Into Music Makers

Programmable interfaces can turn everyday objects into musical instruments.

  • 11 august 2013

Look around you. What do you see? If you’re reading this on a mobile device, perhaps you’re on your couch, surrounded by soft comfortable things. If you’re at a desk, then there’s probably a lot of flat surfaces around. Normal inanimate objects, right? Well what if they could be musical instruments, or computer interfaces? New technologies are allowing consumers and brands to unlock the hidden acoustics of inanimate objects by functionally connecting them to apps and other digital systems. From gelatin that plays notes to an app that turns bananas into cymbals, read on below for awesome ways to transform the world around you into a music box.


A children’s iPad app called Color Band lets users designate real-world objects and then play them like musical instruments. Using the iPad’s camera as a motion sensor, the app detects when ad-hoc musicians touch certain areas within the camera’s field of view that have been tagged with a certain sound. The user determines which areas play what sound, so any object or surface could become an orchestral control panel. See the app in action in the video below.

Beyond a single banana, imagine how fun a desk filled with objects programmed as different instruments would be to play around with. Children could assign sounds to their collection of stuff animals and toys, potentially introducing the basics of music theory and composition into playtime. The app has over 80 different sounds and sound effects to apply, so there is a lot of space for creativity; in theory, 80 users could set up different objects that would each play their own sound when touched.


Two things you are normally not supposed to play with, food and electricity – but placed in the hands of the a mad genius, these odd bedfellows can make some interesting musical combinations. Designer Raphaël Pluvinage created a playset that has the ‘gamer’ create gelatin in different shapes and colors that they place on a computer-connected game board. When these jellies are touched, they emit different sounds based on their shape and color.

To find out more about how you can ‘program’ the world around you as musical instruments, continue reading here on iQ by Intel.

With the help of iQ by Intel, is exploring how technology impacts our lives. iQ by Intel connects readers to the trends and discussions that are moving our planet forward. To read more inspiring stories about how technology is unleashing the world’s human potential to create a better future visit iQ by Intel.


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Katrina Lake

Retail, Customer Service, Fashion

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology october 21, 2016

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.