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One of the Most Beautiful Things Humankind Has Ever Made-and I’m Not Talking About the Phone [video]

Bobby Travis

This is a post by Bobby Travis, who wrote with me at 40Tech from 2009 through 2012. Bobby has since moved on to bigger and better things, but I've left all of his great contributions up on the site. - Evan
Bobby Travis

Japanese Gravity Marimba, Sharp Touch Wood SH-08C | 40Tech

This is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. In my life. Seriously. And oddly enough, it’s for a smartphone commercial — the Sharp SH-08C Touch Wood. Picture this, if you will: a quiet day in a beautiful forest, the occasional deer, and a small stream chattering as it flows by on its merry way. Doesn’t that just scream relaxation? Now imagine yourself breathing in that fresh air, drinking in that view — and listening to the sounds of Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147) as it tinkles through the air. You look around, wondering where the music is coming from, and see a long, angled construction between the trees. It’s made of wood, is kind of pretty in its own right, and it’s singing out the notes of the 10th movement as a little wooden ball rolls ever downward, toward the waiting ground.

You can’t tell me that you don’t think that’s cool!

Japanese Gravity Marimba | 40Tech

The gravity marimba, as it’s called, is a masterful feat of engineering. So much so, in fact, that a part of me still thinks it might be computer graphics — but from all reports, it’s real. Each time the little wooden ball hits one of the wooden slats, a note sounds. Each wooden slat is just long enough, and angled in just the right way to provide the proper rhythm; slowing down or speeding up as needed. The sustained notes are an added treat — very cleverly done. The math that must have been required to create this thing boggles my regular, writing-loving mind!

My just-about-three-year-old daughter and I were enthralled by this video — we watched it four times in a row — and like I said, probably one of the neatest things I’ve ever come across, online or off. These things should be built everywhere. The phone that I mentioned doesn’t come up until the end of the commercial, and is in itself an interesting attempt to marry technology with nature. It appears to have a wooden back, for example.

Watch the video! Absorb it. It just might make your weekend! :D

Japanese Gravity Marimba Plays In An Ancient Forest [Make Magazine Blog]