Everyday Experiments

Everyday Experiments

How will tomorrow’s technologies redefine the way we live at home?

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Optical Soundsystem

AR
Spatial Audio
Spatial Mapping

00:00 / 00:00

What if you could see the way music travels around your home?

Built by — ManvsMachine

ManvsMachine is a design and direction studio founded in 2007, with locations in London and Los Angeles. Our work is primarily design-focused, whether we are creating motion branding assets and guidelines or filming live action television ads. Everything we do comes from a starting point of a strong visual language and core creative concept.

Optical Soundsystem is a speculative design prototype for an augmented reality (AR) application which would allow you to "see" music within your environment. With it, you’d identify a speaker in your home and generate a real-time visualisation of the sounds you're listening to; allowing you to experience your music not just aurally but also visually and spatially. It would look really pretty, too.

'We wanted to develop something that anyone, anywhere, would be able to experience. Devices aside, augmented reality and virtual reality are inherently accessible technologies – so we just did our best to embrace that.'

Optical Soundsystem would show a user visualisations of the waves and frequencies emitted from a single or multi-speaker sound system setup in an impressive display of colorful formations. The sound waves would bounce off and wrap around objects in your apartment and you’d be able to customise what kind of style you’d like to see.

'Audio visualisations are far from being a new idea, but what was interesting to us was taking this idea that people are already familiar with and re-approaching it in the most spatial, tactile, and highest-fidelity way possible.'

—ManvsMachine

The visuals would be achieved by identifying the speakers and their orientation with object detection and pose estimation using a modern camera-phone, as well as configuring each speaker to synchronise audio coming from it. Simultaneously, a three-dimensional (3D) model of the surroundings are constructed using LiDAR. The visual 'sound waves' are a 3D representation of the music as it moves around and interacts with the surroundings.

'The particle simulation we developed was designed to communicate a few baseline parameters; amplitude, frequency, and complexity.'

—ManvsMachine

Although Optical Soundsystem would integrate a new visual device into our environment, the idea was founded on the desire to expand the users’ perception of a space. It would be about adding a new sense (vision) to something we’re all familiar with – the experience of listening to music at home – in the most tactile and spatial way possible.

Everyday Experiments is a project by SPACE10 & IKEA.

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Everyday Experiments

Everyday Experiments

How will tomorrow’s technologies redefine the way we live at home?

Watch The Film

Browse Experiments

00:00 / 00:00