Tangible Voice

Tangible Voice is an Internet of Things inspired experiment into modern communication with the aim to make it more physical and intimate.

Tangible Voice is an experimental project that uses advanced web technologies; allowing users to speak to their browser to record a sound based 'Memory'. These Memories are then sent to an intuitive, tangible interface, this hub communicates with the user through sound, light and touch. From this users can store the awaiting Memory onto a physical counter; creating a narrative through saving multiple Memories on one physical object.

Snapshots of the counter's story of Memories can be heard at the hub, the light providing a visible and real-time feedback for the Memory with an unique identity of colour. Or they can be heard online either in browser or in a mobile web-app, allowing the user to pick their choice of physical object, seeing the entire story of Memories and giving the ability to create unique titles for each of them.

Tangible Voice aims to bring some form of humanity back into digital communication. Modern communication relies heavily on the sending and receiving of text-based messages not in real time.

This project is inspired by work done previously on the Internet of Things such as Durrel Bishop's work in 1992 and the award winning video 'The Innovation of Loneliness'.

Tangible Voice is a final year project of recent graduate Chris Evans, on the course BSc. (Hons) Digital Art & Technology at Plymouth University. Also view the full video on Vimeo.

Arduino Arduino provides the catalyst which connects the physical world to the digital. Combined with Parallax RFID readers to register the unique counters and connect them to the digital memories located online.


Raspberry Pi Raspberry Pi is an incredibly powerful Linux based micro-computer which runs the main processes monitoring and communicating between the Arduino and the Hue bulb.


Phillips Hue API The Phillips Hue API allows for complete control over a programable light bulb. This light provides a visible feedback for the memory in real time as it is heard, with a unique identity in one of its 16 million colours.


MQTT MQTT or Message Queue Telemetry Transport is a light weight messaging protocol that links everything together allowing machine to machine communication.


Chrome Canary Chrome (and Chrome Canary) allows for advanced programming techniques unmatched by any other browsers.


HTML5 HTML5 is of course used in combination with Chrome and Webkit's advanced features allowing this project to work online.

Tangible Voice was created by Chris Evans.

Feel free to get in contact via Email or find on Twitter.

This project can also be viewed within the Digital Art & Technology degree showcase.