Tag Archives: Radio Activity

This device lets you select music by its tempo

Radio Activity is an Internet-enabled device that connects to Spotify and lets you choose music by tempo.

Royal College of Art graduate Gemma Roper has developed a metronome-inspired device that enables users to select music based on the tempo and rhythm at which they’d like to listen.


Radio Activity works by connecting to Spotify and selecting songs based on their beats per minute by sliding a circular metallic dial up and down a vertical pole. From there, it automatically chooses tracks from the user’s music library that best match the set tempo and plays them aloud through its attached speakers.

“The device explores physical and tactile interfacing for online music without a screen through the use of an overtly reduced aesthetic that becomes the central focus for interaction,” Roper explains.


In order to make this possible, the designer had programmed the gadget to recognize Spotify genres and only emit the songs within the categories that match the setting. The metal dial, which can also be rotated to adjust the volume, makes its way up and down the pole at various increments representing different BMPs. It starts at 60-85 BPM, the tempo of slower classical music, and heads upward to 85-110 BPM for hip-hop, 110-135 BPM for techno, 135-160 BPM for dubstep, and so forth.

A marble base houses most of its electronics, which include an Arduino Micro (ATmega32U4), and supports the steel shaft onto which the dial is mounted.


“The internal component composition is incredibly complicated, as the electrical current needed to be carried throughout the length of the rail on small brass tracks that are connected to tiny switches inside the dial all the way to an Arduino Micro in the marble base,” Roper tells Dezeen.

Looking ahead, Roper is hoping to work with developers to apply the idea to other music platforms like Soundcloud. Until then, you can watch the impressive project in action below, or check out its official page here.

[h/t Dezeen]