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Smart ping pong paddles remix music to the speed of play

Drop the ball, or rally too slowly, and the song will grind to a halt.
Nick Summers, @nisummers
October 17, 2016
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I love playing table tennis, but my backhand topspin is average at best. I'll play for an hour and grow tired of chasing wayward balls, knowing that I'll never have a smash quite like Peco from Ping Pong. Never mind -- now I can cut loose with a game of "Ping Pong FM" instead. The modified bats, which have contact microphones inside, log when you've hit the ball and remix music accordingly. Exchange slices too slowly and the song will drop to a lower tempo; likewise, driving the ball with some vicious top spin will cause it to speed up. You can try to match the beat or purposefully remix the music in weird and wonderful ways -- it's entirely up to you.

The brilliantly strange project was created by designers Mark Wheeler, Christopher Arzt, Alaa Mendili, Camille Durand, Kevin Bleich, Demetre Arges, Paul Williamson, Graham Bullis, Catherine Schultz, Brandon Hilliard, Les Hilliard and Tyler Coray. You can choose different music depending on your skill level (faster tracks are usually harder to beat-match) and to keep the ping pong party pumping. It's not a mass market product, but the team says it's looking for "a partner to help us bring Ping Pong FM to fun events or a more permanent venue." So if you run a startup and want your office to out-cool the competition -- here's your answer.

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