When I see something like this for the first time, I often stop and think, “Why didn’t I think of that”? In hindsight it does, in an odd way (pun intended) just kind of make a lot of sense. Looking at the video of the oddball makes me think that actually it could be a lot of fun, and, could be a very useful technology from an accessibility perspective.
Of course, the use of ‘balls’ in physics based sequencing has been around for a long time now. Bram Bos’ excellent Rozeta Sequencer Suite includes this, and isn’t alone even on iOS. So why not take the concept to the real world? It makes a lot of sense and is strangely appealing.
But the ball isn’t the whole thing of course, it’s a half of the proposition:
Oddball comes in two parts, the ball, and the app. The ball behaves as the percussion trigger. Every time you bounce it off a surface, sensors at the heart of the ball communicate with the app via Bluetooth to play a sound through your headphones, speakers, or just the internal speaker on your phone. Oddball is pressure sensitive – The harder you bounce it the more intense the sound, the lighter you bounce it the more delicate.
You can loop your beats to make complex, intricate tunes, play over your favourite songs and add effects. Since Oddball is inherently shareable, the app will have it’s own social environment, where you can post your latest beats and share them with your community.
Oddball is on Kickstarter now. At the time of writing it had 70 hours to go, and is already massively over funded. The developer’s ask was £30k, and currently they’re at £143k. That’s pretty good going by anyone’s standards.
I have to admit that I am pretty tempted to get an oddball, even though several of the music projects I’ve backed on Kickstarter still haven’t materialised. But on that note Oddball does have pretty good credentials.
Oddball Founders Nathan Webb and Pasquale Totaro met at the Royal College of Art. Whilst studying Design Products there, they both discovered a mutual interest in music and creating inspiring interactive objects that create a sense of wonder in the everyday.
Nathan Prior to his time at the RCA Nathan was a multi award winning Graphic designer, with ten years experience. During his time he has worked with some of the most disruptive companies on the market, including Apple, Uber and the BBC.
Before attending the RCA Pasquale studied Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He also has experience working with some of the most forward thinking companies including Apple.
If that wasn’t enough, oddball is being developed from CRL, the Central Research Laboratory, a UK hardware accelerator that has an amazing history dating back to the commercialisation of stereo sound.
With all of that in mind, I’d strongly recommend you take a look.