Created by artist Sean Hathaway, ‘Volume and Noise’ is a brand new device that can help Twitter users broadcast their tweets on radio. The device combines the earliest mass communication device with one of the most popular social networking applications in the new millennium to provide users with a brand new way to broadcast their views. The device basically uses an Arduino microcontroller to select a number of tweets according to preselected keywords.
An inbuilt text-to-speech program then broadcasts the tweets over the air which is accessible to anyone with a radio. To make the device feel old school and authentic, the artist even used a Philco radio case from the 1930s to house the whole device. What makes the broadcasted tweets appear even more realistic is the fact that they are punctuated with filtering noises, tuning sounds and radio static while a custom-made TPM (tweets per minute) counter controls the number of tweets that are aired.
Hathaway originally developed the project for Portland, Oregon-based AFRU Gallery and aims to interpret the steampunk movement in a more mainstream way by combing modern technology and antique devices. Since the showing at the gallery was timed to coincide with the U.S. presidential elections, the device to tuned to select tweets with political terms.
For the average, non-political minded person, the device could provide a new way in which they can keep themselves updated with Twitter feed without having to check them through traditional means. What is also interesting about this device is that it could also revive interest in radio broadcasts and perhaps could usher in an era of social networking where people “listen” to updates from their friends instead of seeing them in text form over the internet. And should the technology actually become popular, it would bring the good old radio back a circle in its life and preserve its use for another generation.