TL;DR A radio that tunes into live NASA space data but rather than playing beeps and tones, the data is used to inform some custom software which modifies existing and recognisable music creating crescendos and diminuendos in the energy of the music while the volume stays the same.
The Space:Live Project, takes its data from live NASA data sources and musically informs the user of events happening at that moment. The idea is based on research into how people interact with new about occurrences in space and in particular, why many people only discover a phenomenon after it has happened (only to discover it won’t reoccur for for another 20,000 years). Conventional news outlets cover stories soon after they have happened while The Space:Live Project broadcasts news before and while they are happening. The project has been launched at same time as many media outlets have be discussing the UK rise of what has been dubbed, Big Data, in effect large data pools that can offer new insights into human behaviour in the virtual and physical world.
The Space:Live Project democratises data in a new and meaningful way. It has been designed to empower citizens to discover scientific phenomena themselves instead of relying of other conventional news and media outlets.
An innovative feature of Space:Live is the way in which channels are selected. Users are able to ‘tune’ into channels such as ‘ISS overpass’, where the International Space Station is visible with the naked eye or Near Earth Objects such as Asteroids and Meteors where the user will be musical informed of upcoming events.
The interaction with the product is entirely physical. 3D printed objects are the channels and they hold special tags that the Space:Live detects. When an object is touched against the outer shell, the radio-like product automatically tunes into this feed so all the sounds that emanate from then on are related to that source.
At a time when Britain spends on average 9 hours a day looking at computer screens, a product that promotes only physical interaction is a welcome addition to any home or office. Space:Live is crafted from an unusual mix of felt and aluminium which was inspired by the industrial aesthetics of space shuttle interiors while giving a nod to the more grounded environments in which it would be placed through the use of felt.