A Kickstarter project called Oddball aims to give a new twist to the creation of music. Composed of a ball the size of a lacrosse ball and an accompanying application, the ball behaves like a percussion trigger, making noise every time it bounces on a surface.
The idea with Oddball is that it can be assigned a sound, and then that sound is played every time the ball is bounced. The sensors inside the ball communicate with the application via Bluetooth, and then the sound is played through your phone's speakers, headphones or anywhere else you assign it. The ball is sensitive to pressure, which means that the stronger the rebounds, the more "intense" the sound is. The Kickstarter page does not define what "intense" means here, but the assumption would be more difficult = higher.
The application is designed to help you use Oddball as a kind of functional drum machine, rather than just an object that creates impact noise. It comes with a large library of samples, allows you to record, repeat and double rhythms, and connect to multiple balls (each one can be assigned a different sound). If you do not want to use the application, the ball acts as a Bluetooth velocity-sensitive MIDI controller, so it can be connected for use with any digital audio workstation (DAW), such as Ableton or Logic to control add-ons.
The presentation and play mode beyond Oddball definitely makes it accessible as a sound creation tool for anyone, but who knows if this will be useful as music manufacturing tool for beginners and experienced musicians alike. Bouncing a ball to make a rhythm sounds fun in theory, but it also seems like a trick that would soon find its way into a forgotten corner of the drawer once the novelty disappears.
As with many projects financed by crowdfunding, consider the risks you see with. It does not appear that any of the founders of the company have released a product previously, and the Kickstarter page mentions that, although they are close to being ready for manufacturing, it is still necessary to perform durability tests. If you are interested in getting an Oddball, one will cost you £ 59 ($ 77), while a pack of two costs £ 115 ($ 150).