About the project

Sontobo is a Sonic Touch Board that I made as a project for Bartiméus while working at the organization Accessibility. The idea for the touch boards came from Technical Director Eric Velleman. Bartiméus is an organization that helps visually impaired people have a normal life. The Sontobo’s are build for visually impaired children to play with. They can be hung to the wall like paintings, or laid down on the table.

The Sontobo’s are made of small wooden boards with various shapes on the front that can be touched. The shapes are painted with the Bare Conductive Electric Paint. The heart of the Sotobo exists of the Bare Conductive Touch Board with custom written Arduino code. I made 5 different boards with unique sound-design for every board. One board has different drum and percussion sounds, one has piano notes, another one has piano chords, there is one board with weird and funny sounds and the last one has various loops of electronic music, drums, percussion and soundscapes.

When touching the shapes the children hear the sound connected to the shape. This way they can play the Sontobo as an instrument. On top of that, the sounddesign is done in such a way that they can play the boards together and make nice sounding tunes.

All the wooden frames for the Sontobo’s are build by Koen van Oort.