File this under amazing.
Nicholas J. Bryan and Ge Wang, students at Stanford University, have developed an application that turns your iPhone into a piece of scratchable vinyl. Instead of using time-coded vinyl to manipulate your digital music catalog through a program, the application uses the accelerometer and gyroscope of the iPhone, while attached to the turntable, to manipulate the desired track.
With proper processing, a three-axis accelerometer and gyroscope can detect three-axis rotation rate (pitch, roll, and yaw velocities) ideal for sensing motion on a turntable. As a result, by attaching a properly equipped mobile phone atop a vinyl record, an existing analog turntable can easily be modied into a digital scratching interface requiring no specialized sound card.
The most inventive idea presented in the paper is that of "air scratching." Taking the iPhone or smartphone off the turntable and manipulating the record while interacting with the audience. Liberating the DJ from behind his tools, his tables and mixer, is something most have never even dreamed about.
As a DJ myself, I don't see this supplanting the traditional method of record manipulation (someday perhaps), but it is ideas, and innovations like this that continually amaze me. These small devices in our pockets, and sitting on our laps, truly possess a daunting amount of potential we still have yet to tap.
Excuse me while I bust a move.