When formulating the initial idea for Flask, we took to the Web to see if there were any similar projects out there. Here are some thoughts on a few of the more interesting pieces:

Transparency Grenade

The Transparency Grenade is a project by Julian Oliver which aims to promote governmental and corporate transparency. Taking the form of a Soviet F1 grenade, the Transparency Grenade provides an ‘iconic cure’ to the back-room dealings and other questionable activity otherwise shrouded in secrecy.

When the pin is pulled, the Transparency Grenade begins to capture network traffic and audio at the site, and proceeds to securely and anonymously stream the data to a dedicated server where it is publicly accessible.

Re:Sound Bottle

Another source of inspiration on this project was Jun Fujiwara’s Re:Sound Bottle. Re:Sound Bottle is an art piece that is designed to capture and reproduce recorded voice and other audio as music. When uncorked, Re:Sound Bottle begins recording via. a built-in microphone and processes the audio when it is re-corked, creating a remixed version of the original input, mapped to a funky beat.

The idea of capturing sound in a bottle is an interesting one. From Kevin Costner movies to The Police, the idea of conveying a message in a bottle — whether it be written text or an audio recording — has been imagined time and time again.

At first glance this seems to be the idea that Re:Sound Bottle is playing to. Upon second glance, however, the ‘message in a bottle’ metaphor begins to fade with the idea of remixing all audio that finds its way inside Re:Sound Bottle.

Personally, I think it feels as though Jun took the project just that little bit too far over the line with the remix functionality, losing the well-executed simplicity of the ‘message in a bottle’ metaphor and the magic that comes along with capturing it in a physical object.

There’s nothing wrong with performing one function well, and that’s exactly what we intend to do with Flask.