How the Drawdio was invented



Last month I wrote about Adafuit's Drawdio kit, an electronic pencil that lets you make music while you draw.

Later, I got an email from JJJ Silver, who invented the Drawdio, and I asked him to tell me how he came up with it. Here's what he said:

Imagine you could draw musical instruments on normal paper with any pencil (cheap circuit thumb-tacked on) and then play them with your finger. The Drawdio circuit-craft lets you MacGyver your everyday objects into musical instruments: paintbrushes, macaroni, trees, grandpa, even the kitchen sink...

One day I bought a "harmonium" kit at the street market in Bangalore. I hacksawed the keyboard off to make the first ever Drawdio circuit. We played with it at a local school in the slums using plants, water, our foreheads, etc. My friend told me graphite would work too. Meditating on it, I realized the Drawdio circuit should be literally attached to a pencil to "draw audio," and that's where the name came from: Draw + Audio.

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