Sunday, May 18, 2008

SynchStep for iPhone Plays Music to Your Pace

SynchStep is a fun and easy experimental way to plays songs from your music library that match your pace. I'll let the author describe it in further details...

When you're out struttin your stuff down "My Favorite Street", every step you take lands in-time with a drum hit, a bass slap, a piano chord. It's kind of like being in your own music video, where your your music becomes the soundtrack to your life. Ya, it's just like a your own music video, except you don't have to pay 3 hundo to some smug director and let his smarmy crew use your bathroom.

The idea behind SynchStep was to create an interface-less device. See, each person has a unique gait, and SynchStep is built to adapt to your individual walking style. It doesn't require people to wrap themselves around bizarre, non-ergonomic devices (keyboards? are you listening?).
Originally SychStep was really a hand-made, custom built MP3-player. The experimental interface didn't even have a display - only an on-off switch. We gave it to people from age 10 to 65 to play with. Without explaining the device to any of them, each tester was told to go for a walk. We were excited to see that everyone got it. Most probably because the "user interface" is really the user's body. Unfortunately, it became a little tough to hand out hundreds of hand-made, fragile gadgets that cost $250 each and countless hours of sanding and cursing.

Then along came the iPhone and iPod Touch, both packed with all the hardware needed to run SynchStep. This meant that if SynchStep was re-written, it could be given to everyone who had one of these little gadgets. So, SynchStep was rebuilt from the ground-up to run on this new, shiny platform.

SynchStep is now available to everyone for free (although donations are much appreciated).

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