Gesture-recognition technology offers an interactive sound experience in the home.

Rigged with a ring of 56 loudspeakers, the BoomRoom at the Technical University of Berlin is able to direct sounds to exactly where it is wanted, thanks to audio processing algorithms and gesture-recognition technology. The array of 16 movement-monitoring cameras lets people to control where sounds go and what they do, and would selectively sling sounds to specific listeners in a crowded room.

Sounds can be directed at any point in the room or to an individual. For example, someone can simply pick up a vase and “pour out” the song in mid-air. Certain hand gestures can alter the volume or bass of a track. Sounds representing data – like an email or a tweet – fly around the room and can be caught and listen to by reaching out and grabbing at them.

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