“Introducing New Moves for House DJs: Meet Odd Ball, the Innovative Ball-shaped Instrument”

Odd Ball, the ball-shaped music instrument, is adding new gestures so you can become a house DJOdd Ball is a company that makes fun electronic bouncy balls that let you generate MIDI sounds by tapping or bouncing them. With the most recent app update, the company also lets you be the DJ at a house party with these gestures. The app will generate sound based on how hard or fast you spin or shake the ball. While Odd Ball hasn’t raised any institutional money, it has some advisors on the board. Odd Ball is working on a version of the ball with multiple RGB LEDs for a new interaction dimension.

Odd Ball is a unique company that has brought a whole new level of fun and creativity to the world of music-making. Their electronic bouncy balls, shaped like traditional balls, are capable of generating MIDI sounds simply by tapping or bouncing them. But now, the company is introducing new and exciting gestures to their device that will allow users to become a house DJ with ease.

The latest app update from Odd Ball includes a DJ mode, complete with background tracks and on-screen instructions for the new gestures. Users can now combine various gestures like spin, twist, move, shake, and air throw to produce unique sound effects on top of the track. The company has categorized these gestures into two groups: Triggers (tap, shake, twist) which play like notes, and Modulators (move, spin, air throw) that are similar to knobs on a console.

What’s even more impressive is that the intensity of the gesture will affect the sound generated. So the harder or faster you spin or shake the ball, the more dynamic the sound will be. TechCrunch spoke with the founder and CEO of Odd Ball, Pasquale Totaro, who shared some insights into the company’s innovative ideas.

“The hardware originally had one motion sensor we did not use at all, it was just sitting there. The idea was to later push a new firmware that would bring it to life. That’s where we are now. It took a lot of R&D to unlock all the features. Imagine a trackpad that understood only taps… now it also has zoom, pinch, drag, pan, etc.”

Totaro told TechCrunch over email.

The team at Odd Ball worked hard to differentiate one gesture from another and make the music-making experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible. The company was founded in 2018 and launched its first version through a successful Kickstarter campaign. It became available for purchase in November 2020, and Totaro shared that the goal was to make music-making accessible to all – easy and fun. This is why they chose the concept of a ball, something that comes intuitively to us, to be the medium for creating music.

“Everybody already knows how to bounce, shake and throw a ball, and all these actions are naturally already musical and rhythmical. This quality of the ball practically breaks down the initial learning barriers that a music lover has to overcome when they try to learn an instrument, a piece of equipment or software,”

Totaro said.

The success of Odd Ball is evident, with over 25,000 devices sold, primarily to children and music lovers. Despite not having any institutional funding, the company has a strong advisory board with industry leaders like Glass Direct founder and Google executive Jamie Murray Wells, former EMI and Warner Bros. Records executive Ted Cohen, and former CEO of digital media company Mitu, Roy Burstin.

Not content with just one product, Odd Ball is already working on two new devices to expand its product line. One of these includes a version of the ball with multiple RGB LEDs for added interaction possibilities. Additionally, the company is also exploring ways to extend its gesture technology to other form factors. Totaro revealed that they are working on making everyday objects useful in the world of XR/VR.

The team at Odd Ball is continuously pushing the boundaries and breaking down barriers to make music-making accessible and enjoyable for all. And with unique innovations like their gesture technology, they are undoubtedly making a mark in the industry.

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Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

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