A couple of weeks ago, an interesting video turned into a viral sensation. Ei Wada, aka Crab Feet is a Japanese musician/artist who takes time to rebuild old and unwanted electronic appliances and then turns them into musical instruments. He has worked with various groups and has been involved in many different shows around the world, such as in Paris. He namely worked with a group called Electronicos Fantasticos, they together created this video, which has clocked up nearly 2 million views on Twitter alone.

So how is this possible? Wada himself does not give much away, just stating that the barcode scanners are modified and generate sounds by connecting scanned signals. If we think of how a barcode works, it is effectively varied bars/thicknesses of black and white lines. The scanner then reads the reflected light to provide a computer with some form of text/numerical information. Therefore, the barcodes are effectively different sound samples, scanned/played at various different settings by the modified scanner to create the music.

Wada thinks that in the future barcodes will be used for musical creations on a wider scale and not just for the traditional use of scanning for products/to take cash – this seems unlikely…

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