Huge Rube Goldberg Machine Installed in Tokyo Plays Christmas Songs, Makes Coffee

Now through December 25, stop by the Nescafe shop in Harajuku, Tokyo, for quite a treat. An 11.5 foot-tall Rube Goldberg Machine has been installed in the center of the café. The contraption is made from 1450 pieces of wood and has 180 wooden keys that act as a xylophone.

The device is activated by guests who visit the café and order a cup of coffee through Nescafe’s “Barista i” app. You also get to pick your current mood, which effects what type of Christmas song gets played. Your selection then triggers a ball that rolls through the contraption, hitting the wooden steps and triggering tongs that hit metallic keys, all to play a Christmas tune while your coffee is being made.

The mug-shaped contraption is the work of Bascule, a Tokyo-based creative firm. It took 5 months to make and assemble using laser cutters and other technologies and is being called the world’s largest wooden rube Goldberg machine. It’s on display through December 25, 2016 at the Nescafe in Harajuku (Gmap).

It reminds me of the Forest Xylophone ad that Docomo did a few years back.

The creators at Bascule explained that many companies have an accumulation of customer data but don’t really know what to do with it. So Bascule’s big interest right now is, what can we do with that big data. In this case, the Rube Goldberg machine pulls user data (as it pertains to coffee) from all over Japan and uses that data to effect the style of music that’s played.

1 Comment

  1. Wow..! That is so cool. The huge device looks beautiful in wooden pieces and all other string that uses to play Christmas song. I really loved the idea of this machine.

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