In our first post, we announced the launch of our new website and told you we were going to use this space to share our development process. So to wet your appetite, what you see above is our current prototype of the brand new XTH Sense!
Today, we will introduce you to the amazing global team that is making it possible, so you can put a face to a name, and know who’s been up to what for context as we share more over the coming weeks.
From the very moment Marco & I first received the Creativity + Technology = Enterprise funding from Harvestworks through Rockefeller Foundation’s Innovation Award to commercialize the new stand alone, wireless version of the Xth Sense, we knew it was essential to bring on board hardware engineer, sound artist and performer Marije Baalman. Marije was the mastermind behind Sense/Stage and a key member of the legendary STEIM, a pioneering lab for physical approaches to new musical instruments and interactive music.
Marije invited fellow engineer and maker of impossible things, Simon Claessen to join us in developing the transmitter and receiver. Together, Marije has been spearheading the firmware and Simon has been designing the PCB boards.
As we started talking through the functional and usability design for the components, we soon realized it was important to identify a very specific type of industrial designer. We reached out to our friends at the Waag Society for some recommendations. We were immediately inspired by wearable and innovative materials designer, Marina Toeters, and felt her fashion sensibility and work with Philips was a perfect fit.
Once the hardware and encasing design were underway, we next turned to our software development needs. Marco reached out to his colleague, developer, music tech pro and pianist, William Brent, to start building an API, so we could expand the Xth Sense interfacing capability. Having developed several essential Pure Data libraries, we were confident his jujitsu skills would come in handy to port Marco’s original PD patch to an independent programming language.
Finally, we realized creating a distinct brand that aligned with the essence our mission and enhanced our product design were critical to establishing visibility. When we were at Sonar+D last year, we loved brand designer and identity creator, Paola Terzi’s work for the Festival. Because her clients were situated in between innovation and technology and she possessed a passion for music, we instinctively sensed she could translate our brand essence and mission into something resonant.
At present, Paola has just put the finishing touches on our brand book, Simon has been using his incredible assembling skills to put together our internal batch of early beta for us to test out, Marije and William are working diligently on the finalizing the firmware and the API, and Marina is hard at work researching silicon materials and manufacturers. We are at an exciting moment. The new Xth Sense is working smoothly, we just have to nail down a few issues to make sure we can deliver you a whole new bodily experience of interactive music.
Next up for Marco & I, Kickstarter campaign, manufacturing pipeline and licensing.