About Work Futur

Moodbox

Moodbox is a device that delivers musical satisfaction by using an emotional scale to help the sometimes difficult act of negotiating the music selection within a shared space.




Instead of selecting music using genres, artist names, track id's or playlists, Moodbox connects to the user's iTunes account, enabling them to set the mood of the room through music. Four rotary encoders allow a range of moods to be selected, adjusted and fine-tuned. This is intended to make people reflect upon the social and physical setting of the surrounding space - initiating a conversation about harmony and atmosphere in which sound, though subtle at times, may be the defining factor in providing delight.

The form factor designed and created is a screen-less jukebox, crafted from wood and featuring mood-lights which adjust with the music selection in order to provide visual as well as audible feedback.

This was a week long project that came on the back of introduction to electronics and Arduino classes at CIID. The prototype we developed was fully operational and could be deployed in the studio when connected to a suitable iTunes playlist.

Following some intense ideation we agreed on building a musical negotiation device and set out to decide on the important parameters to focus on. We came up with moods using the analogy of music setting the mood of a room much like a thermostat. After some brief flirtations with music service APIs, it became apparent that nearly all of them were fairly inaccessible at best particularly when trying to communicate with an Arduino.

Fortunately we stumbled across the Johnny 5 Library and were able to put together some code using a combination of Applescript, nodeJS and Arduino to get some physical controls working for iTunes. Meanwhile in the woodshop we crafted a stylish wooden box and fitted some speakers. As a finishing touch we worked on combining the code for the musical playlists with a LED colourwheel, providing feedback on the current mood beyond the musical choice.