An intelligent music speaker

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Client: Absolut
Role: Concept / Designer

Prototype and pitch for Absolut during the project Mobile Hardware at Hyper Island. The brief from Absolut was very open and basically gave us free hands to do anything that could be associated with the term 'Connected Nightlife'. The pitch was a 2 week project during the 4 week project Mobile Hardware, where we got to learn the basics and some more about things like Arduino, LittleBits, Processing and IoT. My team, consiting of myself, Jonas Jerlström, Darryl Sterling East, Fiona Hutchison and Friðgeir Torfi Ásgeirsson, decided to create an intelligent speaker. See the idea below.

The Idea

Unless you have hired a DJ to your party, there is no intuitive connection between a music player and the preferences of those attending. Monolith’s intuitive sensors aim to measure the mood of a room. The information picked up by these sensors is sent to your speaker box and will automatically play music that suits the energy level within the area.
 

How It Works

The kit includes sensors that are meant to be placed in the space, and a box encasing a speaker and additional sensors. The values from the sensors are passed through the matrix, the Spotify API is accessed and a playlist with an appropriate mood and tempo is played.

As the amount of people, sound level, temperature or movement in the room increases or decreases, a new Spotify playlist will be accessed and played from.

Visitors can let Monolith access their own music too. Using Bluetooth, Monolith will ask for permission to access the users Spotify playlists and add their music to the library.

Prototype 

Using a computer connection instead of a mobile one, we created a prototype of our concept. A prototype consisting of a Bluetooth speaker and an Arduino board with connected motion, movement, sound and temperature sensors. Using the sensors, we were able to get a read on the amount of people, their movement, the noise level and the temperature in the room. With all these factors combined, the software could choose from playing certain Spotify playlists we had sorted by BPM.
 

Conclusion 

Using the prototype, we pitched this concept to a jury consisting of Lisa Rytter (Wrapp), Calle Sundevall (Stureplansgruppen), Emmeli Österdahl (Great Works), Mei Wen (Nordic Startup Awards / StartupSweden) and Markus Wulff (The Absolut Company). At the event, held at Kåken in Stockholm, we recieved the award for 'Most Creative Idea' from the jury.
 

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From Anders Mellbratt on Flickr, photo by Pelle Lindhe

Tools and Assets

 

Arduino
An open-source microcontroller kit for building devices that can sense the physical world.


AppleScript
A scripting language to control scriptable applications and parts of the Mac OS.

 

Processing
A flexible software sketchbook and language for coding within the context of the visual arts

Spotify AppleScript API
Makes it possible for Mac users to write scripts that control their Spotify desktop player.