Investigating new and future technology. This episode explores new tech in music-making, and whether humans will be able to live forever.
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This is Technobytes.
You could call this show the perfect diet,
all the flavour of Technobabble, but with less than half the calories.
Time to check out the latest tricky tech topic via our randomly named
Vlogster, what is the future of music?
Sound question. I love music.
# Happy birthday to you! #
# Congratulations! #
# Celebrate good times, come on! #
Loads of great music out there.
Marcus is me man for this.
I'm sending Marcus to an exciting London design company,
who've been working on a new kind of musical instrument.
He's going to meet the top dog, Roland Lamb,
to discover everything there is to know about their radical keyboard.
So this is a Seaboard, then?
Sounds pretty exciting. What exactly does it do?
Instead of having all those old school separate keys,
you've got this one continuous wavelike surface.
So we took the keys of the keyboard and made it into these waves
-of a Seaboard.
How do you play it?
We've come up with these five different dimensions of touch.
-So the first dimension is how you strike.
I can strike, like gently, or I can strike it hard.
you can control how you press after you've had your strike.
Then you can glide to the left or the right,
or you can slide up or down on the key.
And then also, how you lift off, you can change the sound.
That is so cool.
How does the technology behind this actually work?
The Seaboard has, like, a huge array of sensors
underneath this soft surface.
So it can detect exactly how you're touching it
and where you're touching, all those dimensions of touch.
And then the electronics read that information,
and they turn it into data that can be read by our software.
And then our software turns that data into sound.
So what does this tech mean for the future of music?
Well, I think it's going to make it much easier for people to make,
like, all the different possible sounds
that different instruments can make with one instrument.
So it makes it easier for people to, like, make music at home,
or in their bedrooms, because instead of having to, like,
learn all these different instruments,
they can learn the Seaboard
and access this huge palette of possible sounds.
I'm really excited about this.
-Can I please have a go?
Yeah, we have one set up in the studio,
-why don't you come take a look?
And to help you, Marcus, is a virtuoso called Marco.
Can you show me how to play a Seaboard rise, please?
Let's say we can play C.
-And so you can play.
-I see what you did there, see!
C, then G, middle.
And then C again. So we can play...
HE PLAYS A HIGH NOTE THAT GETS LOWER
-Every note is good.
You do the low bit, and I'll do the high bit. Let's go.
THEY PLAY THE SEABOARD
I've never played an instrument like it.
-I love it. Thank you very much, Marco.
I'll tell you what, Vlogster, after all of that talk about music,
I'm right in the mood for a bit of karaoke!
Marcus, I thought you'd never ask!
# Never going to give you up, never going to let you down,
# Never going to run around and hurt you. #
Maybe something a little bit more up-to-date, Vlogs?
Hey, I can do modern!
How about a piece of music you can hold in your hand?
A company in New York has developed tech that transforms sound
into a sculpture you can see, hear, feel and touch.
Making an object out of music?
That blows my mind a little bit, Vlogster.
A bit too abstract for you, young Marcus?
Well, how about this?
Music straight from your brain.
-Maybe not your brain.
A slightly more brilliant brain.
American artist Lisa Park makes music
using a special headset that reads her brain's electrical activity
and minuscule eye movements
then clever computer software translates her brain waves
into sound and vibrations to make thought music!
I think that's awesome!
-Tortilla, did you say?
Well, here's another slice of hi-tech genius -
-music you can eat.
Dwight Chia from San Diego has taken the humble flour tortilla
and turned it into a playable record,
using a laser etching machine.
It takes half an hour for the laser to cut the track's grooves
into the tortilla, then the record will play for about 30 seconds.
As ideas go, Vlogster, that's hard to BURRITO!
Sorry, Marcus. Let's call that a WRAP(!)
Marcus and I should really TACO 'bout our jokes!
Hee-hee. Time to hear from you again.
You know it's NACHO problem when you send in your questions.
Hey, Vlogster, is there a chance I could live forever?
Oh, deep. Let's see.
Some people who want to live forever choose to have their bodies,
or even just their heads, frozen, using liquid nitrogen.
This is known as cryonic suspension.
By supercooling things down this way, bacteria can't multiply,
so cells in the body can survive much longer.
But as yet, no-one has ever been successfully unfrozen.
And though the clever cooling people are hopeful it will happen one day,
they don't think that will be any time soon.
There's another problem with cryonic suspension.
You need to have popped your clogs first.
So even if you could be successfully thawed out,
you'd have to be brought back to life too,
after potentially a few hundred years!
Australian scientists have been doing tests on mice
to rebuild the broken cells and muscles that cause ageing.
They've been able to restore a two-year-old mouse
back to the health of a six-month-old.
That's the same as making your grandma as fit and as active
as she was when she was 25!
Tests on humans are now taking place,
and some scientists think that one day
all you'll need to do to stop from growing old is take a few tablets.
Although that could set you back £20,000 a day.
Other life-preserving boffins from around the world
are working on a map of the human brain called the connectome.
By better understanding how memories are made,
researchers hope to make a computer model of the human brain
that can store and recall old memories.
In the future, it might mean that your grandchildren could see
your memories well after you've gone.
The next step would be for people to make a copy of their brain
on a computer.
Then, by uploading it into a robot,
humans could essentially live forever!
Imagine that! My jokes could live forever, and ever, and ever!
Oh, no, we've run out of time.
Typical! Ta-ta for now.
Technobtyes is the snack-size version of CBBC's Technobabble which investigates new and future technology. This episode explores new tech in music-making, and whether humans will be able to live forever.