This artist creates instruments with old barcode scanners

Japanese artist and electronic musician, Ei Wada, is the mastermind behind Electronicos Fantasticos. The project, which began in 2015, aims to give new life to outdated electronics by transforming them into musical instruments.

One of Electronicos’ more recent works, titled Barcoder, utilises a sea of untapped potential in handheld barcode scanners. The scanners are linked directly to an audio input and generate sound according to the pattern of the scanned barcode. Sounds range from rhythmic, percussive elements to a series of bleeps and bloops. The results are straight-up fun to watch.


Japanese artist, Ei Wada, has created a musical instrument from old barcode scanners. Each audio signal comes directly from barcoded information.

Electronicos’ hope Barcoder will evolve to a point where entire orchestras can be created with this technique. But the central idea around the work is interactivity. “It presents forms of music not only for listening and watching, but for getting people involved and having them interact with the instruments as well,” Wada says on the Electronicos Fantasticos website.

The idea of turning boring and obsolete objects into artistic pieces is clearly something that excites Wada. “During the day, you are a regular cashier. During the night, you are a barcodist. This is the next level for cashiers!”

You can check out a video performance of a short piece with the Barcoder below.