While we’re waiting on the fascinating Pulsar-23 to emerge Soma Labs keeps us entertained with other gadgets and instruments. This one is called ETHER and is a wide-band pocket receiver that turns the electromagnetic landscape around you into a live soundscape that you control and manipulate by walking around and waving it.
They describe it as being an anti-radio that picks up all the interference and radiation that a regular radio tries to filter out. There’s no tuning or filtering on ETHER you just get everything, the whole lot, all at once.
ETHER is about the size of a pack of cards and can run on two AAA batteries for years. It contains both magnetic and electrical sensors for detecting radiation. The built-in magnetic antenna is like the ones used in old long-wave radios. It has maximum sensitivity on axis and so you can discover different sounds as you change the orientation, angle and position. The electrical antenna emerges as a metal pin which you can push up against anything that you’d like to be the antenna. You could touch it on metal or wood, trees or gates, cars or yourself. Different materials tend to alter the sound.
The idea is that you carry it with you to interpret and aurally enjoy the electromagnetic fields around you. It will transform walks and lunch hours into audio adventures of discovery.
You can record the output although there’s no recorder built in. You also need to keep it away from other devices as they will interfere. It’s perhaps better simply to enjoy the sounds of the moment. Or you can probably use it to detect aliens.
You can pick up an ETHER for €120 plus shipping, just get in touch with Vlad at Soma Labs.