Music that comes from the heart

Interview to BioBeats, the startup that creates Pulse, an iPhone application that generate music from the heartbeat of the users


The beat of your heart becomes music. It happens with Pulse, an app created by the startup company BioBeats, founded by Davide Morelli, from Pisa, Italy and his friend, David Plans from England. Its operation is easy. Simply keeping one finger pressed over the iPhone camera (coming soon is a version for Androids as well). The finger’s colour changes as the blood pulsates through it. The change, which is read by the app, is transformed into a rhythmic base. From this Pulse generates sounds. In some shows the DJ would play starting with the beats transmitted by the smartphones in the audience. 

Having started off from Pisa with a prototype, Morelli and Plans have started up a company in London, locating themselves in the Google Campus. “All it took was just fifteen minutes and ten pounds” says Morelli. “It’s all done online. In Italy, no one knows what a startup needs to do to be in good standing.” But they found their first partner and business angel, Nadeem Kassam, in San Francisco. The initial idea was to create sound tracks for meditation and it is not by chance that one of the BioBeats advisors is Deepak Chopra, a guru of ayurvedic medicine. But soon, they started working on more genres and uses for the app, developing technologies that leverage biometric data to react to emotional and physiological states, creating and discovering music that is appropriate to every state. Thanks to this vision, BioBeats has been among the finalists of the 2013 SXSW Music Accelerator in Austin, Texas.

What does it take to launch a successful startup like BioBeats? David Morelli replies as follows:

“Unbridled passion. Take courage and do what you love doing. When you become the best technical whiz kid around, your worth will be enormous.”

“Put together a team that will allow its technicians’ folly to flourish. There has to be time for play, for those things that apparently serve no purpose but keep us awake.”

Sharing ideas
“A constant comparing with colleagues and competitors. Ideas must not be hidden away. Even the chit chat that goes on when we’re a bit sozzled in the evening at the pub is essential, in order to understand new points of view and discover unexpected ideas.”

Team members
“Only take on those who are more quick witted than you! Make the members of your team feel important. The more enjoyable the work is, the more it is paid.”

“Communication is important! Our video has worked miracles when it come to persuading investors. It’s preferable to have a bug in your product than in your communication.”

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