Stepping Out of the Slate is a collection of new smartphone-reliant devices from Yamaha Design Lab. The idea behind them is to bring nostalgia back into the way we listen to music, which is certainly a novel idea.
What’s in the Stepping Out of the Slate collection?
There are four different prototype concepts, each one with a slightly different approach to creating a more interactive listening experience. The way we experience music these days is entirely built around convenience.
Our music players are voice-activated, and our playlists are ready-made. It seems like so much individuality has been taken from the experience and these designs are a step away from the usual philosophy without venturing into the archaic audiophile domain.
TurnT brings the tactile nature of vinyl playback to your smartphone. It activates by placing the stylus over the mobile device, and repositioning the tonearm will select tracks as you would on a turntable.
According to Yamaha, the experience of using TurnT “will bring back the nostalgia as well as the solemn respect to the music,” which is an admirable sentiment.
This device takes you back to your childhood with music box-like functionality that plays songs once the key is wound up. The key continues to rotate throughout the duration of playback and the mechanism has an effect on the audio, which “may lead to a more intimate musical experience.”
We’ll take their word for it on that one. To me, it has the overall character of something out of the Robin Williams movie Toys. So let’s hope it’s at least half as much fun to use.
This design uses a tealight candle to activate playback and fades away once the flame dies out. As the candlelight flickers, the audio reacts to it and alters the listening experience ever so slightly.
According to Yamaha, the idea behind MusicLight is to create an atmosphere “like listening to a song around a bonfire.” Let’s hope no one burns down their house while listening to Talking Heads.
These four gizmos are intuitive metronomes that respond to the tempo of any audio being played. Cajon, Casta, Cym, and Bell accompany you in real-time or they can also link to the tempo of your smartphone playback.
The RhythmBot looks like a fun addition to your music room, perfect for practicing piano, guitar, drums, or any acoustic instrument for that matter. I wonder how long they will perform at faster tempos?