Visual Piano

As part of the materials of electronics class the team was exploring the basics of electronics through disassembling and circuit-bending a cheap, yet well-built Chinese toy-piano. Taking game installations that empowered their players as its metaphor, the team transformed the experience of playing on a piano by scaling it up: How would an interaction with a human-sized piano feel like that allowed you to step on its keys? Would a visual feedback help to learn the basics of music reading? Would adding a way to distort the music output make it more engaging?

Also the project was about learnings from an engineering perspective: What does it take to build a human-sized piano with self-built keys that resist the forces of an adult and a self-built loudspeaker? This was the challenge the team went for in this one-day project. For the project the team devised several button, loudspeaker, and music-distortion designs that built upon the experience from the class. The exploration of coils took the students to constructing different loudspeaker designs. Thereby, a deeper understanding of the inner workings and design of coils, membranes, cases and material properties was developed. For the music distortion, the team settled on a knee-bending gesture. This gesture was detected using a customized conductive textile.