Brick is a very cool multi-touch & tangible user interface table created by Jordan Hochenbaum and Owen Vallis, two undergraduate students at California Institute of the Arts. The idea for Brick came out of a conversation between Jordan and Owen, discussing how to sonify data in a way that was both musical and meaningful for the user.
“Weather Report” uses Brick to sonify real-time weather data (surface temperature):
On the screen you see a map of the U.S. showing the current surface temperature (represented by color). As you take the drawing object and draw a path across the map, for example my drive from Chicago to Los Angeles, it triggers sounds that are linked to those geographic locations. The interesting thing is that is also tracking the surface temperature of the areas your a journeying though, and using that data to filter the audio. Once you stop drawing, it will automatically begin looping your path.
At the same time, you can place two other objects on the table and depending on how you rotate them, they will play different sounds (percussion, clicks, pops, field recordings…). Once you find what you like, you stop rotating and they two will automatically begin looping…what you now have is sort of a mini composition. And because the data is being driven by surface temperature, which is updated every hour via the internet, you will constantly be getting new and different results from hour to hour, day to day…month to month…and so forth
More details at the Brick site.