Pyro board visualizes song’s beats with dancing flames

Idea based off Reuben’s Tube

What’s cool about the project below is the fact that not only do you get a bit of visual entertainment, you also get some learning in, too.

pyro-board-a-fascinating-demonst

Per the science video blog Veritasium, the “Pyro Board” is a demonstration of what happens when sound waves travel through flammable gas set aflame.

fire

It’s all based on a Rubens’ Tube, which is basically a long tube that’s able to illustrate stationary sound waves (a.k.a.: “standing waves”). In using some songs as the source of the sound waves, the pressure variations caused by the sound waves affect the flow rate of the aforementioned gas from the holes in the pyro board. This results in not on the height of the flame being adjusted per the beat, but the color too, making the board an awesome visual display of a fairly simple project.

pyro-music-board

The video runs six and a half minutes long because it goes into how everything works on a bit more of a granular level. If you just want to see some dancing flames, head to the three and a half minute mark.

Headband acts as alternative to wearing ear buds

Called the “VIBSO headphones”, this headband is actually meant to serve as an alternative to ear buds and headphones, even though they don’t actually go in the ear.

VIBSO-headphones-by-Renaud-Defrancesco-1

Designed by Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne student Renaud Defrancesco, the VIBSO is made of transparent acrylic glass and sends music vibrations across its surface to the user’s ears via a vibrating electromagnet.

VIBSO-headphones-by-Renaud-Defrancesco-5

VIBSO-headphones-by-Renaud-Defrancesco-3

The magnet works, more or less, like a speaker, which has a connecting element that causes a membrane to vibrate and create sounds. In the case of VIBSO, the membrane is the glass, which transmits sound very well, and is also flexible and easy to form.

VIBSO-headphones-by-Renaud-Defrancesco-8

The vibrations move down the membrane and over the surface that covers part of the ears. This allows the user to wear the headband without feeling the actual vibrations running across their noggin. The shape of the VIBSO directs the sound directly inward so that only the wearer hears the music.

VIBSO-headphones-by-Renaud-Defrancesco-6

If need be, the headband can be covered for added comfort. Users can also share the music by letting someone put their ear up against the other side of the band. Personal space issues are up to the individuals.

According to Defrancesco, the purpose of the VIBSO headphones is to allow the user to be “bathed in music without being isolated like with normal headphones, which can be dangerous because you don’t hear what’s around you.”

New wetsuits make surfers invisible to sharks

Two versions available depending on what you’re doing in water

047009-shark-attack-warnings-ignored

There are two things we love here — our surfer audience and mother f’ing science. That’s what makes this story so awesome:

A group of ridiculously smart dudes and dudettes, including scientist from the University of Western Australia, researchers at Shark Attack Mitigation Systems, and Ray Smith, the former Quicksilver designer, have created wetsuits that are specifically made to deter shark attacks.

SAMS-wetsuit-1

Continue reading

Riders can listen to different music at the same time with new audio system design

Speaker system creates independent listening zones in same vehicle

Catering to all the audiophiles out there, check this cool study out: researchers at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research have created an audio reproduction system that can generate separate audio zones, if you will, for the front and back seat areas of a car.

Car music

Specifically, the system isolates passengers in the back from hearing what those in the front are listening to by way of hitting certain frequencies and positioning the speakers in different spots throughout the car.

Car dashboard

The system uses normal car speakers, all set at low frequencies and placed in the car doors. Another set of small loudspeakers are added to the vehicle, and mounted to the four headrest spots to, more or less, drive the audio towards the passengers in the back and fence them off from hearing what’s being played up front.

Speaker sound waves

The system is still in development—researchers plan on next exploring the effect of the type of audio program on the system performance. You know, in case the driver up front wants to listen to Daft Punk’s Get Lucky up front but the country-loving folk in the back want to listen to some Blake Shelton instead.

The audio system design is being formally presented at the 21st International Congress on Acoustics, which is taking place this week in Monteal.

Ok, done geeking out now.

Record Player plays music from a color wheel instead of an actual vinyl record

Students from NYU create kick-ass audio gadget that blends colors with sound

Color Play

The device above is called “Color Play”, and while it looks like a record player, it doesn’t play vinyl; rather, it projects sound from a color wheel made up of variously sized and colored wedges.

Color Play record

The assortment of colors in the Color Play wedges represent different pitches, and the different widths represent rhythms.

Color Play wedges

Like all of our portable Bluetooth speakers, there’s a million different ways to use the Color Play. The wedges can be arranged in whatever way the user wants on a removable tray, and the spin of the “record” can be controlled via knob on the front panel.

Color Play set up

The genius of the device lies in the Color Play’s color sensor. It’s made from a photocell and an RGB LED. Color gets absorbed and reflected in different amounts of light and the sensor shines green, red, and blue light, then records the amount of light that returns.

The sound the device makes is based on the values obtained by the sensor.

Video below of the Color Play’s color wheel spinning:

Want to learn more? Here’s how the color sensor was made: