What is CRDL?

CRDL (cradle) is an interactive care instrument that translates physical contact between people into sound. By adopting a playful and investigative approach to physical contact, CRDL avoids existing conventions associated with touch.

Smart Design

CRDL is the idea of designers Dennis Schuivens and Jack Chen. The instrument is made of high-quality, solid hard wood. It combines a playful, organic design with intelligent software. The electronics are hidden in the wooden casing, keeping the technology behind the product hidden from view. No buttons, wires, lights or plugs. The emphasis lies on the interaction.



"CRDL is a beautiful instrument and makes an important contribution to achieving a worthwhile future for people with dementia and those who look after them."

Gea Broekema-Procházka, Director Alzheimer Nederland

Sound by touch

The instrument reacts to the intensity and frequency of the contact. It produces sounds from nature (the sea, birds, crickets), the city (a tram, bike bell, church bells), animal sounds, sounds of musical instruments, or from everyday life (a boiling kettle, tea cups). Users have access to an extensive library of sounds, or they can add their own to the SD card. The interaction starts when two users each place a hand on the CRDL and form a circuit by touching each another. The CRDL recognises how the people are touching each another and translates this into sound.

The type of touch influences the sound that is produced: holding, rubbing, tapping or tickling. By using the human body as a part of the mechanism, users are not so much playing the instrument, but rather each other.

There are 25 pre-programmed sounds. Users can also add their own sounds to the SD card. The CRDL can be used both 1-on-1 or in a group. It is possible to extend the circle by adding other people, like links in a chain.



CRDL Specifications

  • High-quality, solid hard wood
  • Weight: +/- 4 kg
  • Dimensions: 450*278*172 mm (l*w*h)
  • Sound library with 25 pre-programmed sounds
  • Supplied in a wooden storage container
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Click and drag the CRDL to spin it and double click for full screen.

"It is moving to see how the clients react to it. You experience a real means of being able to make contact using music and sounds. Using CRDL doesn’t only affect the clients, but also their family and carers. It is beautiful moment when you can get people out of their isolation."

Corine Lenting, specialised carer and housing supervisor at ZorgSpectrum.

CRDL: technology serving its users

CRDL is designed in such a way that the technology serves the user. The focus is: connecting people.

The shape of the wooden CRDL is inviting to touch and strengthens the sensory experience.
The geometry is derived from a volume based on the ‘golden ratio’. The ellipsoid housing is characterised by its mobile form, the pronounced continuous grain in the wood, the lack of visible connections and the low centre of gravity result in a balanced object (that can’t fall over). The panels, which have been elevated with a felt pattern, form a tactile contrast with the smooth wood. The innovative technology is hidden within the wooden casing.


Users play each another

The interaction starts when two users each place a hand on the CRDL and form a circuit by touching each other. Thanks to the innovative technology and intelligent software, the CRDL recognises differences in specific resistance in the circuit that has been created. This enables it to differentiate between the different forms of physical contact. Users can hold each other, rub, tap or tickle. By using the human body as a part of the mechanism, users are not so much playing the instrument, but rather each other.


Hidden innovation

The circuit can be extended by adding people to the circle, like links in a chain. Each participant has the same opportunity to influence the interaction. During their research, designers Jack Chen and Dennis Schuivens experienced how older users in particular were uncertain when it came to seeing technology. Because this can hinder the use of the equipment and instruments, they chose an approachable design for the object to appeal to the curiosity in people. This is also why a natural material was chosen, an organic form with no visible connections, controls or connection ports. The CRDL is an innovative technical product that, thanks to its design, doesn’t look like it to the user.


Made in the Netherlands

The CRDL is produced in the Netherlands from solid hard wood originating from sustainably managed forests. All the wood that is used in the production is replanted. To limit the natural movement of the wood, a solid block is produced from two opposite glued parts. This block is then divided into two: the bowl and the lid. Both parts are given reference marks to maintain the continuous grain in the final product. The parts are then milled into an organic form using a CNC machine. The parts are then sanded down and detailed by hand. The CRDL is then treated with a UV-resistant wood oil.


Magnetic connection

A pattern is cut into both sides of the top of the CRDL using a waterjet cutter. This pattern is then lined with conductive felt containing silver wire. The electronic system, consisting of a speaker, the integrated PCB and the rechargeable battery, is fitted and connected to the inside of the housing. A magnetic connective system is used to seal the instrument.


Special storage box

The CRDL is supplied in a wooden laser-cut storage box that has been assembled using wood joints. The inside of the box is fitted with a wooden framework that carries the organic shape of the CRDL.


Would you like to experience the CRDL for yourself? Contact us.

Request a demonstration