Jun 21, 2017 | By Benedict

Domestic Data Streamers, Spotify, and Sónar+D have joined forces to create a 3D printed, Minority Report-esque machine that tells you what song you’ll listen to at a future moment of your life. ‘The Timekeeper’ was trialled at last year’s Sónar+D technology event in Barcelona, part of the Sónar festival.

Well here’s one of the creepier 3D printing projects you’ll see this year. You know how some of your most cherished memories are soundtracked by particular songs or albums? Well, a bunch of terrifying futurists are attempting to put music to your future memories.

They’re doing this using a machine called “The Timekeeper,” a glorified 3D printed marble dispenser that will match future events of your life with a song based on your Spotify listening history. If that doesn’t sound faintly terrifying yet, just wait until you see The Timekeeper’s promotional video. We think some people might have lost a few marbles during the project.

“The Timekeeper challenges the boundaries of predictive algorithm, choosing bespoke curated songs and forwarding them to a future special moment that hasn’t happened yet,” Domestic Data Streamers explains. “It creates unique occasions that are yet to come. It creates the soundtrack of your future.”

Here’s how it works: based on a user’s musical preferences on Spotify, The Timekeeper chooses a song for them and applies it to a future date of the user’s choice. By gathering and analyzing the user’s personal data, The Timekeeper “blends the participant’s listening habits with their behavioral profile.”

This musical-behavioral profile is then “metaphorically” inserted into a glass marble which is kept inside the giant 3D printed Timekeeper machine until the moment arrives, upon which the marble is physically ejected from the machine. The song is simultaneously sent to the user via email.

So the physical 3D printed marble machine doesn’t actually do that much then; it’s more a physical representation of stuff that is all going on in an app. But the marble-dispensing machine is certainly a novel concept, and Barcelona’s BCN3D Technologies appears to have had a lot of fun building it.

Parts of The Timekeeper were printed in the BCN3D Sigma 3D printer, using more than 30 kg of PLA, Colorfabb XT, and flexible materials. According to BCN3D, some of these parts had a long printing volume—30 to 40 hours in some cases. The machine also contains bi-material parts that combine rigid and flexible materials to fit the parts into glass softly and safely.

Overall, The Timekeeper required more than 6,000 hours of 3D printing time, with more than 10 BCN3D Sigma 3D printers used in the project.

In all honesty, I’m not sure I want Spotify to know the perfect songs for my future. Do they know whether I’ll be happy or sad? Do you they know what I’ll be doing? Based on the quality of their “Discover Weekly” playlists, I expect they probably do. Perhaps it’s better to just accept it.

The Timekeeper was debuted at last year’s Sónar+D event, which means that some participants will already have received their songs by email. Creepy.

Domestic Data Streamers is a Barcelona-based design firm that enables organizations to “communicate through data storytelling by bringing emotions to data, simplifying complex information, and generating knowledge.”

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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