The Soundgarten is a tangible interface that enables children to create their own sound environment by manipulating physical toy objects. They can use predefined sound samples, record sound samples of their environment and modify and arrange the different elements in sound scenarios, choose volume pitch and apply sound effects.
Soundgarten consists of mushroom-formed items that represent sound samples. There are small flower- and leave-shaped attributes, which can be plugged onto the “mushroom” to modify the sound. A radio-wave microphone embedded in a shuffle-shaped device can record sound samples when a special recording mushroom is plugged into it. Last but not least, the “flower-patch”, i.e. the central part of Soundgarten, allows the sounds to be activated and arranged.
The Soundgarten interface works in combination with software that runs on any standard personal computer. With a wireless connection the PC works completely detached from the interface itself and thus remains invisible to the user. According to the concept of invisible and embedded computing, the user’s attention is centred on the interaction space and not on the technical details.