the ‘social jukebox’ offers another design perspective on RFID-based social music sharing

designed by digital interaction design student andrew pairman at the UK’s university of dundee, ‘social jukebox’ is a physical music player designed for social music sharing, offering a slightly different design perspective in comparison to previous such devices. wooden tokens each contain via RFID chip a personal playlist created by its owner. the turntable-like player lets users place in their tokens, to play tracks in turn from randomly selected pieces. pairman explains that the lack of a ‘skip’ function encourages users to experience each other’s music, in a manner more like the listening habits of 20 to 30 years ago.

the ‘jukebox’ unit itself functions based on an arduino board and servo motor. the glass RFID tags, each linked to a spotify playlist, are embedded within the wooden tokens, visible through their hole. when these pieces are placed into the device, they are randomly rotated under the reader, letting an applescript program open the playlist in spotify and play a randomly selected track.

social jukebox for music sharing closer view

pairman notes that his development of the project was also influenced by the ‘c60’ music platform by IDEO (designboom original feature) which lets users mix and match tracks by placing RFID-embedded cards onto a playing platform.

what is different about pairman’s concept is the way in which the use of physical objects is designed to further connect users to their music. pairman envisions a possible future iteration of the project that can sense the tokens from further distances, so that when there is no social environment, the objects are still of use to the individual: different tags attached to different objects would trigger diverse playlists.

social jukebox for music sharing the wooden tokens were designed to be usable as everyday accessories (keychains, beads…)

social jukebox for music sharing design development

social jukebox for music sharing early concept sketch

social jukebox for music sharing workstation

social jukebox for music sharing the finished servo motor

visual demo of ‘social jukebox’

social jukebox for music sharing

INFINITI digital art competition – CURVED VISIONS designboom in collaboration with INFINITI is offering an international competition asking participants to design spectacular or interactive digital artworks or performances, to be exhibited throughout europe. participation is open to applicants from every country in the world: to professionals, design-enthusiasts, and students.

registration is free and now open, through july 10th, 2012. view the call-to-entry for more details!