What if your pencil drawings could become your video-game controller? Or, weirder yet, your bananas could become a musical instrument? Such conversions from physical objects to digital interfaces are possible with MaKey MaKey, a kit designed by two MIT Media Lab students, one of whom, Eric Rosenbaum, discusses how it works and what it could lead to in a video from the Aspen Ideas Festival below. We're used to being able to create new things online -- whether it's starting your own website or making your own videos -- and we've all explored building in the offline world, whether just doodles on a page or music from an instrument. But for most of us, we've never had a chance to build the way we, in the physical world, input information into the digital one. MaKey MaKey changes that, giving us, as Rosenbaum says, a "new way to connect the physical world and the digital world."
Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.