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SynchStep

SynchStep
Innovation
Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 8 april 2008

Synchstep is a application in private beta that promises to play songs on your iPhone that are in tune with your stride. Developed by a guy over at digital agency Poke, Synchstep was originally planned to be a standalone MP3 player – but then iPhone came along (with the iTouch). The application promises that every step you take lands in-time with a drum hit, a bass pluck, a piano chord. Poke’s blog gives some insight into the development of the app.

The idea behind SynchStep was to create an interface-less device. See, each person has a unique gait, and SynchStep is built to adapt to your individual walking style. It doesn’t require people to wrap themselves around bizarre, non-ergonomic devices (keyboards? are you listening?).

Originally SychStep was really a hand-made, custom built MP3-player. The experimental interface didn’t even have a display – only an on-off switch. We gave it to people from age 10 to 65 to play with. Without explaining the device to any of them, each tester was told to go for a walk. We were excited to see that everyone got it. Most probably because the “user interface” is really the user’s body. Unfortunately, it became a little tough to hand out hundreds of hand-made, fragile gadgets that cost $250 each and countless hours of sanding and cursing.

Then along came the iPhone. (Steve (bless his lil’ heart) packed it with all the hardware needed to run SynchStep.) Apparently, just about everyone at POKE has an iPhone. It’s bizarre and a little bit sexy. With those kind of stats, we pretty much had to make something for it.

Poke hasn’t granted access to the app yet – but when we do, we’ll let you know how it works.

Synchstep

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