This app was inspired by the idea that everyone likes to sing even when we're not all that great at it. Most people sing in their car because they are alone, nobody can hear them, it's a safe space and everyone has a natural inclination to want to be musical. The problem with Karaoke is that you're performing with others in a room following along and hoping it sounds okay. With Carseat Singer, nobody is judging you, you're in your car calling the shots, you can start the track over without pressing any buttons easily!
What it does
With Carseat Singer, you get to sing in your car. If you're doing well, the artists vocal volume is 'ducked' out, if you're messing up or not hitting the notes like you hoped, the artists vocals are brought back into the mix to give you new confidence. This all is build for hands-free control of starting a track over, collecting your score and switching tracks.
How I built it
We integrated Ford SDL with Android, and use Bose AR gestures to control while driving. We took out production masters (individual stems of songs) and modulated between vocals and instrumental track based on volume input to microphone (the singer in the car) on the device for a smooth transition between singing and not singing.
Challenges I ran into
Challenges we ran into while developing the app was finding appropriate pop music tracks to show off in the demo. We were able to find some production masters for Katy Perry, which enabled the main functionality of modulating between the vocals and the instrumentals for her song.
Another challenge was working with so many different API's and brands, to bring them together in a cohesive environment, getting along with eachother. Through the hackathon we were able to band together and make them work for a functional demo!
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are proud of taking this from 'idea' to 'proof of concept' to 'functional demo' in a relatively short period of time!
It's exciting to work with a team that is driven and cares about the end result and making a fun application for a fun activity that all of us naturally love to do when we're driving in our cars!
What I learned
Learning the sponsors API's was a process, but getting everything up and running and having the help of sponsors is something to be proud of. It was great to have their guidance on implementation of features.
The fast paced environment of a hackathon makes it fast and fun to move in a direction as a team as the software and idea evolves.
What's next for Carseat Singer
With the right label partnerships, in a similar vain to Ubisoft's popular singing application for Wii and Wii-U, we can license production masters from Universal Music Group labels and artists to create Carseat Singer compatible library of tracks ready for the road. This could have a fun collection of the popular music in many genres to sing along to in the car. Because it is hands-free and doesn't distract the driver from the road, it stands a great chance of being a fun audio/singing application for the SDL/SYNC operating system from FORD for people to safely sing songs in their car as they drive to and from the places they need to be. As it scores the drivers singing and recommends tracks, it can open up people to new music and artists they might not normally listen to, which drives sales and fandom, and with those recommendations based on songs they can sing in their vocal range, it makes it actually fun to try a new song!