The Reactable table isn’t meant only for use by headliners at your local club. This unique music concept developed at Pompeu Fabra Unviversity in Bareclona offers a variety of live music making systems for seasoned artists and beginners alike – all dictated by physical building blocks and touch screen controllers.
Users place blocks resembling over-sized, decorated dice and mahjong-like tiles on a responsive touchscreen table – the Reactable surface. Each side of each block creates a different sound when laid on the table. Similar instruments have similar prints on the blocks, and the tiles are defined by their print as well.
The table actually visualizes the wavelength of the sound created by block/tile combinations, “turning the music into something visual and tangible” (reactable.com). The digital glowing ring around each physical component can be manipulated to change volume, pitch, tone, etc.
What began as a research project grew into the Reactable Systems. Following an enormous media response, the Reactable has been used by Bjork during her Volta and Biophilia world tours and Coldplay at the iTunes Festival 2014. Rolling Stones Magazine named it the Hot Instrument of the Year in 2007.
The slick interface and accessibility make the Reactable a hit for museums and lounges, and artists can pick up their own at the official website. More casual users can download the mobile app for their phones and tablets on the iTunes app store and Google play.
More than just a fun music tool, the Reactable system is a novel way to experience music and sound engineering. With endearing tools for users of all ages, musical backgrounds, or possibly even with hearing disabilities, the Reactable provides new understanding and an unbeatable wow factor.
A Universe Born By Stocks
Who knew that stocks could be so interesting? The ‘Stellar Atrium Project’ by Frame store Labs uses a network of RSS feeds and software process databases and more to turn real-time stock data into simplified but stunning data visualizations at the lobby of the London Stock Exchange headquarters. Compared to the usual cut-and-dry tickers and symbols, these visuals are a novel way to interpret stocks.
The use of real-time data was upon the insistence of the client – London Stock Exchange. They wanted their emphasis on cutting edge innovation to be reflected in the new media installation using over 500 separate screens and 200 million pixels.
The visualization starts as a galaxy at 8 AM and each stock ticker is a star orbiting this data-driven universe. Therefore if there are significant changes happening in stocks, the galaxy will reflect that movement and be very volatile. In terms of the code behind the visualization, this means that little has to be done to create excitement and the animation is mostly powered by the mostly incalculable nature of the worlds trading floors.
This unlikely intersection of financial systems and data-as-art is a pioneer in combining two fields, and the grand result is both informative, engaging, and beautiful. You can find more from Framstore Labs at their website.