The Wrap: 25 September

The Wrap: 25 September

Rocking Nintendo

Video game tunes are notoriously catchy and someone decided they'd be even catchier if they were played on a piano with no pianist and drums with no drummer.

Roboband takes sounds from Super Mario Brothers and Zelda and plays them in real time as the game is played, reproduced by the instrument that gives the sounds closest to the electronic version.

The piano and percussion are controlled by the Raspberry Pi single board PC, with software to turn the game audio into instructions to drive the solenoids that control the instruments' player mechanisims. It's a pretty cool feat of engineering, but you have to wonder about people who have too much time on their hands.

Etsy gets on the page

Arty craft online store Etsy is kicking off its Pages feature by handpicking what it calls 'tastemakers' - a select group of brands and bloggers - to curate products to pitch to shoppers.

The chosen few include Martha Stewart Weddings, Semi Permanent design events, Polka Dot Bride, Babyology, Lucky magazine and the Apartment Therapy blog.

Etsy says it picked the group for "strong editorial chops" in curating for audiences.

Bringing it to the Kickstarter table

Kickstarter's played host to creative Kiwi projects and a recent one out of Christchurch, the 3D Virtual Tabletop, blasted way past its modest funding target of $5000 with more than 650 backers. The tabletop app, by Christchurch's Brendon Duncan, lets players virtually recreate pen and paper roleplaying and strategy board games on their iOS and Android devices, and in browers.

As you'd expect it's matched by some geeky rewards for backers. For five bucks you're a warrior who gets a credit in the app and on the website; for $50 you're a web browser Myrmidon with the early release of the web version.

...and to the app

A little further from home, Appseed in Canada is using Kickstarter to bankroll its dream: an app that takes people's ideas for apps from paper to prototype. AppSeed identifies the spaces you draw on paper and lets you turn them into buttons, input text, maps or other things you want in the user interface.

These days everyone wants an app and if this bad boy becomes reality, it seems this will it easier for non-techy types to show off their concept to developers and backers.