City ♥ Beat / AR Music Playground

Estonian Academy of ArtsEstonia


Concept / Student


Eerik Kändler


City Heart Beat is an interactive sound installation and future vision concept for Smart and Happy Music Cities. AR (augmented reality) playground at public spaces enables passers-by (with the help of the AR glasses) to have fun and let their creativity flow, play music and create art together. They can draw their own instruments (fluffy glowing sound monsters) that are intuitive and easy to play. It works as a self-therapy and re-introduces music as a simple, primal and effective way to express one’s feelings. Playgrounds at music cities are connected with the shared space functionality. Your lifelike avatar will appear at the connected playground (at some other Music City) and vice versa.

AR Playground

AR playground is a part of the Smart City emotional infrastructure. It has an easy login system. You just have to turn ar Smart City applications on from your phone’s main menu and step into the circle. To join the playground, you need a pair of ar glasses or you can borrow a pair from the vending machine. Thanks to the application you will see and hear the same thing as all the players. Connected ar glasses have earphones to avoid sound pollution and to ensure that whatever is surrounding you, you will always hear your band mates crystal clear. Thanks to spatial surround sound, the experience is really pleasant. It is like a silent disco but with holographic instruments. The playground will record the music played, analyze the mood and feelings and show them accordingly on the web page as open data.

Drawable Instruments

Every player can draw his/her own colorful and glowing sound instrument in the air with their hands. The color reacts and the instrument’s fur moves when touched, so that it feels tangible and real. Color changes according to the music played and the application suggests complimentary colors to the music previously played. The AR glasses and the playground can read users’ hand gestures and therefore no gloves or extra wearables are needed.

Sound Travel

Music Cities are connected with music playgrounds. You can see lifelike avatars from connected playgrounds from other countries or cities and interact with them through the language of music. It creates collaborative culture, enhances collective joy and helps to bound diverse social groups.

Project background

Music is a social glue that bonds people. Music helps us to connect without the need of language, enabling us to communicate across cultural and linguistic boundaries.

Due to the growth of the population and the migration to cities it is more important than ever to enhance understanding between people with diverse cultural and social backgrounds. Within our lifetime our society will complete transformation into a fully urban one. The key to building happy cities is to cherish collaboration between citizens.

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