• 07.22.10

iPad App Lets You Fingerpaint with Sound (Just Watch)

Mind? Blown.

iPad App Lets You Fingerpaint with Sound (Just Watch)

For all you haters out there who say the iPad is a useless piece of eye candy well you might be right. But can your BlackBerry make paintings sing? No? No? Didn’t think so.


Singing Fingers” is headed up by Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum of the MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten group, and it allows you to fingerpaint on your iPad while the mic records whatever sounds are going on at the same time. Then, you can play back the sound by touching the paint, like a sort of voluntary synesthesia. It seems totally mad, ?til you see the video. So without further ado, lookie here:

Silver explains how it works:

“While you drag your finger across the screen, your voice or any other sounds in the room are turned into colors on the musical canvas. The pitch of your voice is translated into a color, while the loudness of the sound determines the size. If you start on a blank white space you are recording. If you start on a colored space you are replaying. Use up to five fingers to play back many sounds at the same time, forwards, backwards or sideways.”

Think of all the awesome stuff you could do with this. Obviously, the contemporary art world, which fetishizes anything colorful and loud, would have a field day with it. We picture a gallery full of iPads and a sign that says “Please touch.” (Poor gallery clerk.)

DJs could make — and scratch — their own iPad records.

It could be the future of kindergarten class. No more messy fingerpainting! Plus, kids love weird noises, especially their own!

And inevitably, this will fall into the hands of some entrepreneurial stoner who will finally give the world the 21st-century equivalent of a Dark Side of the Moon laser show.


The app is available here. And for more CoDesign coverage of amazing-but-completely-pointless crap you can do with an iPad, click here.

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.