Synaesthesia is a rare medical condition in which the information coming from a person's senses get mixed up, so they might experience a smell as a noise, or taste something and hear it instead.
Imagine that, eh? Imagine biting into a juicy burger and hearing birdsong instead of tasting beef. Imagine experiencing a Curtis Stigers saxophone solo as the smell of an angry horse.
So... what does that have to do with a speaker?
This speaker has synaesthesia, too. Well, sort of. On the one hand it's a swanky wireless Bluetooth speaker with a 7W amp, a 3in woofer and a 1.5in tweeter, but on the other hand it's a swanky app-controlled light, a bit like a tabletop version of Philips Hue. And it can mix light and colour in some pretty interesting ways.
So you can turn it blue when you listen to John Coltrane's Blue Train?
Exactly, and you could set it to pink if you're listening to Weezer's Pinkerton, or you could have it fade between colours while listening to Baroness's Yellow & Green. And if you're listening to Simply Red, it'll complement the audio by dousing you with hot, acidic seagull vomit.
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No, not really, although it is open-source and Arduino-based, so in theory you'd be able to rig up the Cromatica to do something unpleasant when Mick Hucknall starts mewling. But there are nicer things the Cromatica could be hacked to do.
Well, the designers have come up with a few already. For one, there's the alarm function, which fades up a warm, bright light first thing in the morning to get you out of bed in the nicest possible way. And for another, there's the home cinema mode: link two Cromaticas together either side of your TV and they'll provide superb sound from the front and lighting from the back, shifting colour and intensity with the picture in a similar fashion to Philips' clever Ambilight technology.
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