iko is a calm interface that allows to tangibly control playback from digital music libraries.
We can listen to any music, everytime and everywhere, on-demand. But we have practically no chance to avoid our screen-based devices doing so. Breaking out of physical boundaries music lost its tangibility. The interfaces we use to browse and play music today are dense and multilayered and offer high flexibility and control of what is played.
iko is proposing an alternative to screen-based interfaces that we use to listen to music. Thereby it is no replacement of them but an alternative approach. It is not expanding the complexity and flexibility of existing interfaces but, opposing, narrowing the possibilitys down to specific physical interactions. The concept draws inspiration from Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown's idea of "Calm Technology".
By giving iko a light shake it pauses or plays the music. By turning iko clockwise or counterclockwise on a horizontal surface it raises or lowers the volume. If iko is turned onto a different side it will play a different playlist. By throwing iko into the air it will shuffle the playlists, also adding some new music to its 20 sides.
The prototype is 3D-printed with wood-filament and encloses an Adafruit Feather board with battery management and Bluetooth LE connectivity, an absolute orientation sensor (IMU) and a Li-Ion battery. The prototype communicates via Bluetooth with a python-script on a computer that is controlling iTunes via Apple Script commands.
iko was created in the Information Design Studio Class of Prof. Rupesh Vyas at Aalto University Helsinki, 2017.
- Demoday 2017, Aalto Media Lab, Aalto University Helsinki
- Visualizing Kowledge Conference 2018, Helsinki
- Pecha Kucha Talk, Pecha Kucha Campus, Long Night of Sciences, Berlin