Lead by Allison Wood and Kei Gowda, Reify turns sound waves into 3-D printed sculptures that play the sound back with an augmented reality app. Music was a natural place to start. Wood began thinking about how she might translate music's ephemeral nature into something tangible and permanent. She came up with the totem, an object 3-D printed in plastic or plated in bronze as a visual, physical representation of a song.
The totems are in some ways a sophisticated music player. The app reads its form much like a stylus on a record or a laser on a CD and plays it through your phone. When the totem enters your phone's camera frame, it begins to animate on your screen, creating a customized augmented reality experience. "It's using your phone like a looking glass into the digital world," says Wood.