Internet of Things is now a reality, and lots of companies have to face it. Companies from many different fields (as we have seen: housing, decor, gardening…) have to improve their offers in order to survive in the new technological era. That’s why the famous Swedish company IKEA has decided to adapt things into the IoT’s world and also create new connected things to make our lives easier.
IKEA’s idea is to make a more sustainable life at home, so that is the reason why in the next decade the brand is going to create and develop new connected things, such as the whole kitchen. In a collaboration with IDEO, a global design company, and design students from Lund University (Sweden) and Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherland), IKEA has created the named Concept Kitchen, which was shown at the Milan Design Week.
As we mentioned some weeks ago, we attended the Sònar 2013 collaborating with the One Seat Away project. Simone Rebaudengo, Ken Frederick, Daniel Kluge and Marc Pous with thethings.iO were working hard to have the One Seat Away at Sonar and their hard work paid off!
The Sofa of the One Seat Away project
Our main vision was to offer a new kind of interaction to citizens and Sonar attendants with music. Usually, we are familiar with interacting with music the our ears but why not convert the music into a haptic experience? By connecting objects to the Internet, we could send the physical music far away from the speakers played by DJs at Sonar music festival. In this case, we were exposing a sofa that was vibrating at the DJ’s Sonar Village vibe.
Getting interviewed by TVE during the Sonar+D
The components to connect an IKEA sofa
The IKEA sofa was connected to the Internet through and Arduino UNO and Arduino Ethernet shield. At the Sonar Village sound technician table, we set up a laptop connected with a MAX/MSP software in which was converting music into analog music and pushing it into thethings.iO every second. Through thethings.iO API connected to the Arduino, it was able to request a “music package” to thethings.iO API and sending the signal to the motors installed inside the sofa, making them moving at the vibe of the music.
The modulator of the vibe at the connected sofa
With some components we were able to modulate the potence of the vibe and the Arduino PWM. Like the volume on the music stereos.
Laptop converting music into analogical music
The experience of people feeling the music was a great! The visitors were showing up at our space sitting on the connected sofa experiencing a new way to feel the music. People were impressed with the sofa and the vibe. We enjoyed receiving positive feedback and we hope next year we have the chance to repeat this experience!
Do you want to connect anything to the Internet? Just try thethings.iO and make it happen! And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.
One Seat Away is an artistic project that aims at the exploration of the relationship between the rhythms of a musical performance and the hidden rhythms of a city such as Barcelona. The rhythm of a musical performance is typically measured in BPM (beats per minute), an easily detected value. However, within an urban space, there are multiple ways to define rhythm. There is a physical layer of people, noise, temperature, bikes shared systems. Then there is a virtual layer of activity in a city such as Foursquare check-ins, Facebook likes, Instagram pictures, Tweets among others, that remain mostly “hidden”. Their value reveals another side of how the rhythm of a city can be understood.
We will define the BPMs of the two environments and translate them into an experience that binds these two disparate contexts in real-time: bringing the rhythms of the festival into the city and the rhythm of the city into the festival.
The main goal of One Seat Away is to use connectivity and sensing to augment the sense of the urban space around us and merge it with music and rhythms as a way of experiencing data in a tangible way: something that one can feel and not necessarily have to understand in detail or rationally decode.
How does it work
The project will connect daily objects such as sofas and chairs to Internet. The sofas and chairs will receive the sensed data processed from the real-time Sónar music being played and converted into vibration. In the same way that one can feel music outside of an event without “hearing” it via vibrations of physical structures, we want people to feel and experience the rhythm without actually hearing it.