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April 2012

April 07, 2012

Noisy Jelly: Magical Musical Game

This thing looks like pure fun!

A couple of technomages in Europe have conjured up Noisy Jelly, this odd-looking device consisting of a box with electronic bits and gelled cones of agar-agar/salt solution. They describe it like this:

With this noisy chemistry lab, the gamer will create his own jelly with water and a few grams of agar agar powder. After added different color, the mix is then pour in the molds. 10 min later, the jelly shape can then be placed on the game board, and by touching the shape, the gamer will activate different sounds.

Technically, the game board is a capacitive sensor, and the variations of the shape and their salt concentration, the distance and the strength of the finger contact are detected and transform into an audio signal.

This object aims to demonstrate that electronic can have a new aesthetic, and be envisaged as a malleable material, which has to be manipulated and experimented.

Note : This project is a fully working prototype made with Arduino and Max/Msp, there are absolut no sound editing in the video...

Noisy Jelly press kit (from which I also extracted the photo)

I can see many of you nodding along with blank looks on your faces (me too at first) but here it is in action.

Is that the coolest thing you have seen lately?

From what I can see this is not likely to hit the store shelves any time soon but it is a fascinating and fun convergence of food and tech.


Raphaël Pluvinage
Marianne Cauvard

More information:

Noisy Jelly press kit
Noisy Jelly flickr set 

By the way, this bit of wonder came my way via the Very Short List newsletter which delivers a blessedly brief bit of "cultural gems from a different curator every day." I only signed up recently and find it more interesting than not, which is saying something these days.

April 01, 2012

Cupcake Epiphany!

768px-Chocolate_Cupcakes_with_Raspberry_Buttercream_detail Photo courtesy Whitney in Chicago via Wiki.

As anyone who hangs out here knows, I have long had an antipathy for cupcakes. To my mind, cupcakes have represented what is most problematic with the world: Overpriced, tasteless, twee, empty calories mindlessly consumed instead of more usefull options. Not to mention that the sprouting of cupcake stores on every corner has not helped the US obesity crisis...well, except to help it grow.

Recent data sorting on my computer has turned up the draft of my The Manifesto
of a Cupcake Abolitionist. Last thing I did before shutting down my computer last night was move a copy of the Manifesto to my "Writing NOW" folder so I could find it.

Continue reading "Cupcake Epiphany! " »

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