Meeting Date: 21 June 2013

Prepared By: George Firican

 

Kit for hacking everyday objects

Have you ever thought you could turn everyday objects into musical instruments? I'm sure you're thinking right away about glasses and spoons. Sure, but have you thought or turning a pen into a drum, a banana into a keyboard, or ketchup into a violin string? Not only these could be used to produce music, but they could also be used to be turned into buttons and switches. What if you couldn't find your computer/laptop mouse and you would just draw one in pencil on a piece of paper and start using it instead? It sounds as if we're heading towards a fantasy land, right?

Well, I recently discovered the MaKey Makey kit. This kit, invented by Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum's, lets you turn everyday objects into computer interfaces and lets your mind run free towards new ideas. Watch the video below where Jay shares the process of, I would say somewhat accidental, achieving this fantasy.

 

Jay Silver: Hack a banana, make a keyboard! 13:16 min

 

Pretty impressive, isn't it? What really made me think while watching the video above, is how this could be used in educational projects. Due to its simplicity I would think it might be a good gadget to provide to schools and promote learning, technology and freedom of imagination. What do you think?

I remember learning about electrical current, circuits, transistors and other things in high school and having this to apply the theory learned in class would have made things a lot more engaging. Mind you, I might have driven my parents crazy by trying to convert every little thing in the fridge into a musical instrument or a button, but sometimes that's how passions get fueled. So what do you think? Would this be beneficial to children to have their hands on? What would you do with it?

 

 

Here are some projects that were made with this little device:

 

MaKey MaKey + Roy the Robot's Hand: 1:58 min

 

Here is the full rendition of the "O say can you see" featured in Jay's presentation:

Lunch: O Say Can You See: 5:10 min

 

Bananamophone World Premiere @ CCRMA: 3:36 min

 

Playing Fruits Mario Kart with MakeyMakey: 3:54 min

 

MaKey MaKey Musical Paintings: 0:42 min

 

UncommonGoods MaKey MaKey Challenge: 3:06 min

 

 
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