Ocarina iPhone app by Smule and exploding interface design

My iPhone has shifted into a new space with the download of a very cool little application, that is simultaneously totally useless and completely wonderful.


The ‘ocarina’ app developed by smule allow me to play my phone. To quote their website:

“Ocarina is sensitive to your breath, touch and movements, making it even more versatile than the original. Unlike other musical applications, there are no pre-compiled riffs so musicians will find unlimited opportunities for self-expression. Advanced options allow you to choose between diatonic, minor and harmonic scales. Or channel your favorite video game adventurer with Smule’s Zeldarian mode.”

This is rather groovy and all good fun but the bit that I like the best is the interface to view the music of other iPhone players around the world, which are geocoded and visualized onto a rotating image of our planet. The effect is magical and reminds you of how small our world is, how insignificant our individual voices but yet how meaningful to us as human beings.

This kind of visualisation of data that is being collected for ‘other’ reasons is I believe the start of something big. Exploding interface design is the thing that will finally transform the way technology can touch our lives in unexpected ways. This kind of mash-up thingy, useless exploration, is on the right track.

If you have an iPhone, I suggest you try it and look at the user generated sheet music that you can play.

It is called Ocarina as the sound is like the real world instrument, as in the picture below.