We’ve never been to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, but after playing with its new Sound Uncovered iPad app, we certainly intend to next time we’re on that side of the planet.
The museum aims to be a “twenty-first-century learning laboratory” for all ages, and that’s carried through into the app. Sound Uncovered wants to – in their words – “take users on a journey of inquiry and discovery through auditory illusions and acoustic phenomena”.
Or, to put it a bit more bluntly: it’s a sonic play-toy. Not just for kids, but we think they’ll love it. The app includes 12 separate sections, each illustrating a certain audio phenomenon.
“How do you make a saxophone growl? Are there secret messages in music played backward? Can you talk and listen at the same time? Why does the sound of gum chewing drive some people mad?” asks its App Store listing.
“Listen up and find answers to these questions and more as you take an auditory trip to the place where sound gets truly interesting: the space between your ears.”
We’ll be honest: our kids will be lucky to get a go on the app, we’re enjoying it so much. What’s more, because the app is essentially encouragement for people to visit the real-world museum, it’s free to download and use for your iPad.
And if that whets your appetite, you should also check out Color Uncovered, an earlier iPad app from the Exploratorium focusing on colours.