Whip out your phone and channel your inner Deadmau5 with this musical AR toy. (If it helps, you can do that thing where you pretend to have one headphone on your ear while you stare intently at an imaginary turntable.)
What is it?
An Instagram AR experience that uses your phone’s camera to place an interactive beat lab onto any surface, allowing you to mix on your own—sometimes revealing fun visual surprises.
Digging through crates (of code)
When we’re not solving the world’s most pressing problems with cool keyframes and hot decks, our creative technology team cracks open their favorite code editor and jams with some cutting-edge tech.
During one such jam session, we came across the charming papercraft creations of Dan McPharlin, and the question arose from our collective consciousness: “What if we, like, made an AR experience that let you remix music on your desktop while also producing some trippy visual effects?”
Yes, everyone replied in a spooky monotone. We must do this.
So we did.
From how to wicki-wicki-wow
Our original concept was to create some sort of recording/playback doohickey that would take your voice and add crazy effects while music played.
We quickly realized this wasn't feasible, though. The AR tech platform couldn’t play and record at the same time. Trying to work around it led to a clunky user experience—and we knew we didn’t want that.
We landed on a collection of “instruments” that could be easily poked with fat fingers: a turntable, a drum machine, and an effects processor.
Each one has a limited number of interactions, but when combined the possibilities are (almost) endless.
Obviously, the glue that brought everything together was the music. Our long-time compadres at Antfood were a blast to work with, as always.
They crafted a modular musical system that puts the fun back in funky and is guaranteed to get you grinning.
It’s not me, it’s you
Here’s a parting thought:
The joy of experiential design is very much about unlocking the creativity of the user. There’s an important distinction between making a piece of art for someone to experience and making elements that allow someone to create their own piece of art.
(We may be biased, but we prefer the latter.)
Try it now! ↗
Point the camera of your relatively modern phone at this QR code and follow the link. Then turn dat audio up, baby!
Make sure to experiment with all of the controls. You might just unlock psycho mode.
Director of Creative Technology