City ♥ Beat is an interactive sound installation and future vision concept for Smart and Happy Music Cities. AR (augmented reality) playground at public spaces enables passers-by (with the help of the AR glasses) to have fun and let their creativity flow, play music and create art together.
They can draw their own instruments (fluffy glowing sound monsters) that are intuitive and easy to play. It works as a self-therapy and re-introduces music as a simple, primal and effective way to express one’s feelings.
Playgrounds at music cities are connected with the shared space functionality. Your lifelike avatar will appear at the connected playground (at some other Music City) and vice versa.
AR playground is a part of the Smart City emotional infrastructure. It has an easy login system. You just have to turn ar Smart City applications on from your phone’s main menu and step into the circle. To join the playground, you need a pair of ar glasses or you can borrow a pair from the vending machine. Thanks to the application you will see and hear the same thing as all the players. Connected ar glasses have earphones to avoid sound pollution and to ensure that whatever is surrounding you, you will always hear your band mates crystal clear. Thanks to spatial surround sound, the experience is really pleasant. It is like a silent disco but with holographic instruments. The playground will record the music played, analyze the mood and feelings and show them accordingly on the web page as open data.
Every player can draw his/her own colorful and glowing sound instrument in the air with their hands. The color reacts and the instrument’s fur moves when touched, so that it feels tangible and real. Color changes according to the music played and the application suggests complimentary colors to the music previously played. The ar glasses and the playground can read users’ hand gestures and therefore no gloves or extra wearables are needed.
The inspiration for the instrument design is taken from the Hang (described in the “Playing Music Can Be Easy” section). Furthermore, it is like a collective instrument. Every player gets a suggestion (from the ai) of one note or beat to play. All beats and notes are part of the whole scale, so every person is like a note from the whole instrument. It is calculated in a way that there are no “wrong notes” so it all sounds harmonious. The Smart City application calculates (based on the previous plays) suitable notes for the next players. That will compliment and balance the formerly given mood of the playground. It is like the heart that regulates the blood flow.
Music Cities are connected with music playgrounds. It works like a Spatial shared workspace but for music. You can see lifelike avatars from connected playgrounds from other countries or cities and interact with them through the language of music. Virtually, you will feel face-to-face with the 3D lifelike avatar experience which uses a simple and quick 2D portrait scan. It creates collaborative culture, enhances collective joy and helps to bound diverse social groups.
Music is a social glue that bonds people. Music helps us to connect without the need of language, enabling us to communicate across cultural and linguistic boundaries.
Due to the growth of the population and the migration to cities it is more important than ever to enhance understanding between people with diverse cultural and social backgrounds. Within our lifetime our society will complete transformation into a fully urban one. The key to building happy cities is to cherish collaboration between citizens.
The goal of this project is to find a future vision of how we could use music as a tool to connect citizens by encouraging their creativity. Focusing on the public sector and embracing the public good.
The approach has been to combine the methodologies from Cities of Music (unesco) and Smart City concepts. Considering the use of the new technologies and possibilities of augmented reality but concentrating more on the interactions than the technological side. For design approach I decided to use the contemporary research methods, ideating through sketching and visual storytelling.
The final result of this project is a concept vision of interactive ar (augmented reality) music playground which is meant for Smart and Happy Music Cities. Designed for beginners but equally fun for professionals. The solution encourages to make new connections through music. Passers-by can play together or use the sound travel function and connect with people from music playgrounds in other music cities around the world.
Project blog: meem.ee/music-project/