Once upon a time, you could touch your music -- or at least caress a 7- or 12-inch vinyl disc -- but these days the cool kids stream MP3s (and OGGs, and APEs) off the internet. However, design studio IDEO
recently decided to see if they could get back in touch with their audio roots, and -- taking a page right out of the industrial design treatise I Miss My Pencil
-- they built the above machine. To put it simply, what you're looking at is a box filled with specially-angled Arduino
Pro Mini boards constantly searching for RFID tags on top, and a set of cards each with two RFID tags, with each tag representing one song. When you drop one on the turntable, it begins playing within a second, thanks to the clever array of Arduinos underneath, and you and your High Fidelity
soulmate can leave multiple cards on the table to create an impromptu mixtape, or, presumably, flip one of the "cassettes" to play Side B. It's a good thing IDEO isn't selling the device and packs of cards, because we're afraid we'd be compelled to collect them all
, and our poor wallet doesn't need any more heartbreak. Don't miss the video below!