Writing with sound

Sonic Texting, by Michal Rinott, allows you to write messages just by making smooth writing gestures with the “Keybong”, a joystick-like device that fits in one hand. The Keybong gestures trigger sound responses, and a light tactile feedback.


To use it though, you need a training phase, just as any writing technique does, only in a more playful way.

“Once you’ve learnt the mechanism, you can easily write a letter or text message simply by keeping your hand in your pocket or even standing in total darkness“, explains the designer. “If you want to be sure that you haven’t made a mistake, you just listen to the sound the device emits while you’re writing.”

There are different sound levels: from the easiest one that scans the letters to the most sophisticated one which links each letter you write with a certain music. “I can now recognise the tune of my name”, adds Michal. The device makes it possible for anyone who’s sufficiently trained to use Sonic Texting to create “musical texts” based on the harmonies that they are able to express while writing.

Sonic Texting will be presented at the Can You Hear Me Now? Audio Interfaces session of CHI 2005, in Portland this week.

Textually has a list of applications allowing to communicate or play through gesture.