Step is a toy that allows children, in a very playful and straight forward way, to compose and edit simple loops using custom sounds.
Some basic topics of music composition such as sound sampling, tempo and track channels are introduced to children who plays with it. Step’s interface is composed by a board and color tags. There are six tags for each color: blue, red, yellow and green. Using the “recording station” kids can record a sound and match it with a color.
Composing the loop it’s very easy, by placing the sound tags on the loop grid the embedded speaker will start playing the sequence, it is also possible to control the velocity of the loop using a knob.
To prototype the user experience we’ve used an Arduino Leonardo connected to a processing sketch that handle the recording and playback features. Using a Mux Shield 2 we managed connecting 25 IR sensors, 16 LEDs, 1 knob and a button to a single Arduino board. We needed a quick and effective way to test the experience and by using Arduino we managed to design and build the whole product in three weeks.
More info on Arduino Blog.
A video showing how it works:
Source: Step Homepage