This project began as an exploration of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2013. After the project sat dormant for 6 months or so, Collin Akemann and I realized that the first design of Solto didn't match the simplicity and philosophy behind the concept itself.
What did we do differently on the second time around? The over-arching experience of a product creates long-lasting relationships between products and users. Solto 1.0 forgot about the experience of a product. Solto 2.0 does not.
Mankind has always been deeply connected with music, but has music ever been connected with people? We hope that Solto can create music that lives with the user and crafts an amazing and immersive experience for the user.
During the Solto hiatus of 2013, several companies started bringing products to market that allowed for motion-based music. Volkswagen has a spectacular video about music crafted based on the speed, acceleration, and location of the car.
Auug is a product funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign which uses motion to create and alter tones through motion. through your smartphone. This device can be used with an array of apps to fully take advantage of its unique ability to use motion to create music.
An experiment at Georgia Tech involved producing an algorithm that could create music based on the motion of fish and mammals in an aquarium. It took into account their speed, size, and other aspects to map the motion of an ecosystem. Originally, improvisational musicians (using a variety of instruments) played along to the actions of the fish. The desired result? A way to hear what is normally seen.
Once we studied the technology behind motion-based music, we began to create the tangible form of this algorithmic symphony composer. We designed an object that is not intentionally flashy or complicated, but one that disappears into the user's life. It should be heard, not seen.
The first iteration was an attempt to produce a product that could be released within the next 6 months, whereas the second iteration would look towards being released within the next few years.
Solto is encased within an aluminum enclosure. Hidden below the ring of arsenic-free glass lies an array of sensors that can draw in information from the setting it is placed into. The woofers and tweeters are hidden by a slightly-domed grill of aluminum (which could come in a variety of patterns and textures). The central power button is there to shut down Solto if the user doesn't wish to be disturbed. Otherwise, it enables and disables itself when it detects motion.
Each design decision was thoroughly evaluated: from its simple form to its elegant logo.
Solto's form is simple, but it can understand something as complicated as human emotion through its advanced sensors (thermal imaging, stereoscopic cameras, microphones) by inferencing things such as your body posture and tone of voice.
We understand that objects don't exist within a vacuum, it must be able to communicate and take information from other objects in the home and use that information to further paint the picture for the atmosphere of the home.
When you first install Solto on your wall, it doesn't take much to get started. Simply press the power button to begin.
Control Solto through an app or an online web-application. It also listens to your voice commands, so there's nothing between you and your music.
Solto creates music on the spot, improvising throughout the day to capture the feeling of a home through sound. It truly creates a soundtrack for your life.