The Magic Kingdom is synonymous with Walt Disney World, but that name could easily stand in for Disney Research Pittsburgh, a Disney-owned research facility in -- you guessed it -- Pittsburgh.
To see why, look no further than one of the lab’s latest creations: a musical plant.
Called the “Botanicus Interacticus,” this sonorous plant emits a harp-like melody when its petals are touched. How? By placing an electrode in the plant’s soil, engineers can map a hundred different frequencies around the plant.
When someone sweeps those frequencies by touching the plant, a computer connected to the electrode registers the touch and translates it into musical notes that play out from a speaker. This would also work on any conductive object, including a human being.
Music just seemed like an appropriate output for this technology, explained Jessica Hodgins, Disney Lab Pittsburgh’s director: “It could be be triggering computer graphics, a light show, or any other kind of signal.”
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