France is known for a lot of things. The first images that come to mind may be lavish museums and decadent cheeses, the country also has a rep in the electronic music scene. So it’s not surprising that France is the birthplace of Photonic, a unique device for consumers that like to move.
Showcased on the floor of CES 2015, the jagged orb functions much like a digital shaker. It’s lined with a several sensors that recognize the speed of your body movements, and when paired with your iOS device and the accompanying mobile app, it allows you to control a melange of beats, melodies, and various sound loops.
It essentially lets you create music in real-time, with the option to select from a variety of musical styles, ranging from jazz to chiptune to rock’n’roll. You can also split the melody and rhythm components between two Photonics, allowing you to collaborate with a friend on a whim.
It’s a little difficult to grasp without actually handling the product for yourself, but we can vouch that it’s an entertaining novelty. The orb itself is lightweight and easy to move, and surprisingly, it instantly conveys your movements to your device via Bluetooth with little hassle. When you shake the device furiously, the tempo increases and becomes more frantic. When you stop, it stops. You can even remove the battery-powered sensor from the orb and embed it in something else entirely, like say a sock or a stuffed animal.
Sadly, the Phototonic is currently only available in the U.K. at a price point of €91, with a second production run scheduled for February 2015. No word on a U.S. release date and pricing, but given the hubbub surrounding the company’s CES booth, we hope the device will be making it stateside soon.