By Rich W Woods
I spent the weekend walking around Engadget Expand in Manhattan. There were tons of different booths set up with new innovative technologies and products. All of them were the same. It was a new product, they were either selling them there or they would ship in a couple weeks.
There was, however, one group there that stood out from the crowd. This group was The Green Cat Collective. They had a device called The Sand Noise Device. This device was pretty much a sandbox that made music whenever anyone moved the sand around.
My first question was the obvious one. What’s the point? Why does the world need a sandbox that makes noise when you play with the sand? The answer was the best answer I had heard throughout the entire convention. It’s art. That’s it. Technology being created for the sake of creating art was the most beautiful thing I had heard all weekend.
The Green Cat Collective
The Green Cat Collective consists of four people: Jay Van Dyke, Devin Dominguez, Jason Saxon, and Matt Roads. I know what you’re thinking. As far as I know, Jason Saxon is not related to Harold Saxon nor is he a Time Lord.
The man I met at Engadget Expand was Jay Van Dyke. The next question I asked was how he planned to make money. He said that maybe some company that might want a piece of art to be displayed in their lobby might want one. One thing was clear: art was primary and money was clearly secondary.
I also asked what products The Green Cat Collective would be working on in the future. He mentioned something about a device that would make music based on how the user drives.
The Sand Noise Device
The Sand Noise Device uses everyday hardware to work. It uses an Xbox Connect and a Playstation 4 camera to detect how the sand moves. I guess the didn’t want to be biased to any particular gaming platform.
Using a projector, devices are projected onto the sand. The virtual devices act just like a physical object would. “They have mass and obey the laws of gravity. They will slow down when climbing uphill, speed up when flowing downhill, get stuck in pits, and collide with the tangible objects. Users can even push the virtual objects around the sand with their hands.”
The virtual objects react to the shape of the sand. As the virtual objects move, they create sounds. Those sounds create music.
To learn more about The Sand Noise Device and The Green Cat Collective, check out sandnoisedevice.com.