Radio Activity

British designer Gemma Roper is interested in interaction and product design, coding electronics to promote optimistic experiences with technology. A graduate of Central St. Martins, one half of London’s Nice to be Nice Studio and a member of Platform 21, Gemma offers up her latest creation – a streaming device built on selected tempo.


images courtesy of gemma roper


Called ‘Radio Activity’, the device is an internet-enabled streaming device that encourages users to select music according to tempo. Radio Activity selects tracks from online music provider Spotify according to tempo, which can be adjusted by sliding its circular aluminum dial up and down a vertical pole.


It works with Spotify’s format of organizing tracks by genre, assuming that tracks within the same genre generate similar BPM (beats per minute). The internal component is quite complicated, according to Roper, as current must travel the length of the rail on small brass tracks connecting tiny switches in the dial to an Arduino Micro in the base. The piece mimics a ticking metronome, with a retro volume dial that adds a tactile user interface.


Roper claims the simple design conducive to creating a mood without having to navigate through endless digital content. The pole is labeled with tempo numbers for visual reference, starting at classical, moving up through hip-hop, house/techno, dubstep, drum and bass, jungle and juke.


The designer is working with developers on fine-tuning, and hopes to offer access to alternative platforms like Soundcloud.