Writing for Fast Company, Carey Dunne describes Space Replay as a giant ball that constantly records and replays the sounds of public spaces, creating a delayed echo of human activity.
“It’s sort of like a scary sculptural interpretation of the playback in your head of that stupid thing you said, only on a grander, more public scale,” writes Dunne.
Space Replay is the brainchild of designers Francesco Tacchini, a Royal College of Art grad student, as well as Julinka Ebhardt and Will Yates-Johnson of Design Products. The trio designed the orb using a latex balloon filled with enough helium to be able to lift a battery-powered, Atmel-based Arduino board, an Adafruit Wave Shield and a small speaker.
The components were neatly packed into a plastic cone, the shape of which helps project sound and protect the balloon from being popped by wires. The final and lightest prototype – which weighs 120g – includes the above-mentioned electronics, packaging and the balloon itself.
“The designers unleashed this hovering black ball in public spaces,” Dunne explained. “They filmed it lurking in elevators and awkwardly freaking out passengers, floating down the stairs like a terrible omen, replaying people’s conversations and making industrial clanking noises like the soundtrack to one of David Lynch’s student films.”
Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page here.