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The Wrap: 28 May

Of words and music

We wonder if New York artist and programmer Hannah Davis and Canadian research officer Saif Mohammed are among the types who imagine a book’s soundtrack as they read. That’s because their project TransPose is a programme that scans novels for different types of emotions and give them a musical accompaniment. It looks for joy, sadness, anger, disgust, anticipation, surprise, trust, and fear, and two different states (positive or negative) in the book, then the music chronologically follows the novel, with four measures representing each section. Emotion density data determines the tempo, key, notes and octaves for the piece. Who knew books were so melodic – or so technical?


We’ve seen some pretty cool electric bikes lately and Vanmoof’s Electrified continues the trend. Calling yourself the first intelligent commuter bike sets high expectations, but it delivers in many respects, with GPS tracking, power control and an integrated battery. Made from anodised alumnium, it’s pretty lightweight at 19kg, has high power LED lights and charges in three hours.


Hi-tech froth

Tech that makes your beverages better is fine by us – and here’s an example. The Beer Foamer by Norm Architects is made from copper-plastic plasted and stainless steel and its motor is battery powered. It will apparently give you amore pub-like experience by whipping up denser froth like the kind you get on tap. And enthusiasts will be pleased to know that means crisp, bubbly beer and soft foam, like a draft. And the three by 6.9- inch size is very kitchen bench sized.

In today’s pet tech news…

Last week we found out about a game console for dogs. This time there’s PetMatch, an app that helps you find a pet that looks just like the one you used to have. It seems this service from US developer Superfish is for people in denial about their lost moggy or pooch and who just want to move on. Users can upload a photo of their pet or bring one in from the internet, then pick one from a library of images in the app. The match is done according to a geometric analysis of distance between the animal’s eyes, the angle of its mouth and face shape. The same is done on pet pictures from US service PetFinder, which brings together pets available for adoption.

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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