A Wireless Speaker that Visualizes Lyrics in Real-Time

Here’s an idea: An app-based wireless speaker that visualizes lyrics on a translucent baffle/screen in real-time while the music is playing, creating a quasi-holographic effect.

The Lyric speaker from Tokyo-based Cotodama (Japanese for “soul of words”) finds and displays the lyrics of “pretty much any song” on its screen. But instead of simply showing lyrics in time with the music, the speaker adapts the presentation to the song.” With a slow ballad, a delicate font might drift across the screen whereas an energetic rock tune would display lyrics in a bold and powerful way. If lyrics can’t be found, or the song is instrumental, the speaker presents abstract graphics in sync with the music.

Using technology developed by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), the speaker analyzes the mood and structure of the song playing and uses a built-in “expression engine” and lip sync technology to create motion graphics that “visualize the lyrics in a beautiful way” — one that embodies a culture of appreciating words themselves as art. Lyrics are pulled from a database of more than 2 million songs.

The speaker connects via Wi-Fi to a free iOS/Android app that’s compatible with Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play, SoundCloud, YouTube, and other music streaming services.

“The evolution of music technology has been developing so rapidly but what about lyrics? Even though lyrics play a crucial role in music composition, I felt there was an opportunity to develop and enhance lyrics using cutting-edge technology,” explains Jin Saito, CEO of Cotodama and designer of the Lyric. “I believe music has a huge impact on people’s minds; it cheers you up when you are down or can get you in the mood for a big night out...I hope that more people can enjoy the power of lyrics and learn and appreciate more about their favorite songs through the Lyric speaker.”

The speaker supports playback of files with resolutions up to 96 kHz/24 bits and houses two coaxial speakers and two passive radiators in an enclosure measuring 20 inches wide, 14 inches tall, and x 5.5 inches deep.

For more information, visit lyric-speaker.com.