The Phonotonic Lets You Make Beats By Dancing

I never turn down a chance to dance in our videos. While walking through startups at Eureka Park at CES with Darrell Etherington doing live interviews with founders, I forced him to chat with Phonotonic, a startup that makes nifty orbs that translate your dance moves into beats, while I demoed the device beside them.

Despite my awkwardness in the video, the gadget is really fun to use. Basically, sensors inside each orb send movement data to an app on your phone that generates different music based on how you swing your arms.


You can use the app with just one orb, but with two you can generate the melody with one and the rhythm with the other. At one point in the demo I handed off one of the orbs to someone else and danced with just one, and it was a bit weird to give up a bit of control to the other dancer. It’s just a total blast to have music that feels right for how you’re dancing because it’s based on your actual movements.

While I was into the funky style of music I danced to, the app can generate music in a pretty wide variety of other genres. You also don’t need the whole orb to use the app, as the sensors are stored in a tiny pod inside the larger orb and can be worn on clothing or placed on other instruments.

We last covered Phonotonic when they were running their Kickstarter campaign last summer. They’ve sold out of their first batch, but you can pre-order units from the next round on Phonotonic’s site for €80.00 each with delivery set for February.