Introverts, rejoice! A new app is pioneering a form of communication that doesn't require you to speak at all. The MotionPhone app, just released for the iPhone and re-released on the iPad, allows people to use their fingers to animate a series of abstract shapes set to music, and ultimately, communicate with one another on a more visceral level.
"We all know how to talk and how to gesture, but it's a different form of communication that turns your gestures into animation," Scott Snibbe -- an interactive media artist and the creator of MotionPhone -- told us during SXSW. "It's quite magical because all the subtleties of your personality come out and turn into a kind of animated painting."
While Snibbe has long worked in the media/tech art realm, he's lately gained more recognition in popular culture for developing the buzzed-about apps for Bjork's 2011 record, Biophilia. The app, which acts as a visual complement to each song on the album, took critics back to their teenage years of cocooning in an album, and made us wonder whether this was the framework for the future of music consumption.
MotionPhone has a similar sort of immersive appeal, one that inserts you as deeply into the social realm as it does the anti-social, kind of like a multiplayer video game. But while there is an impulse to turn this into a game, Snibbe said that could run counter to the objective here.
"Something like this is more meditative [than a board game], which can make you kind of neurotic sometimes," Snibbe said. "But that said, I do plan on adding some aspects like that, of having a community where people can see what other people made and vote on the best one, and so you'd be able to make a music video."
The MotionPhone app works across the world, so you could do it in place of Skype with your friend in South Africa, or in place of talking to your friend sitting next to you.
What do you think, readers? Would you prefer visual communication to using your words, or just as an alternative once in a while? Let us know in the comments.
Check out MotionPhone in the iTunes App Store.
WATCH a demo of the MotionPhone app: