The Tangible Sequencer is a simple musical instrument. There are 8 colored boxes each with a large triangular play button that lights up in time with music. Press play on any box and it will play a sound. Put boxes next to each other and they become aware of one another. The boxes take turns playing their sounds one after another just as you’ve laid them out.
Each box has a small computer inside. In the prototype shown, there’s a white box that acts as a hub connected to the computer via USB. You use software on your computer to drag and drop sounds into the boxes, like putting files in a folder on your computer:
When you press play on a box it signals to the computer over a low-power radio to play its sound. When the box is done playing its sound, it signals to any boxes next to it to play its sound using infra-red, the same technology in your television remote control. The boxes are each powered by their own small, coin cell battery. There’s no on/off switch, the boxes just work. Battery life is approximately 1-2 years depending on how much you use them.