Located at the lookout at the summit of Table Mountain’s Kloof Corner hiking route, The Nest was a beautifully crafted replica of a rock that sat snugly alongside the trail. It would have been easy to pass it without noticing the enhancements: the USB port, headphone socket, and microphone. After all, what would such things be doing by a mountain trail in Cape Town, South Africa?
However, if you were a follower of interesting tech builds or independent music, or a member of the Geocaching community (it’s highly likely that the project was inspired in part by Geocaching), you may have been aware of The Nest as a unique way of sharing the self-titled debut LP from South African band, Bateleur.
Yes, this may seem like something of a publicity stunt. A cheaper version of U2 forcing their album onto every iPhone simply to ‘get through the noise’ and make sure their music was heard. But listen to Bateleur’s LP and I’ll guarantee that there’s no place you’d rather be than sat atop a mountain with the fresh air and beautiful vista before you.
In my opinion, this build was not so much a publicity stunt as a public service.
Once The Nest was discovered, two whistles would act as a trigger to switch on the Raspberry Pi heart within the semi-translucent faux rock, and a light show, previously hidden from view, would begin to play. A pulsing ring of green lights would indicate when the device was ready for you to insert a USB drive and retrieve the album, while a rainbow pattern would let you know when the download was complete.
You could then either continue on your merry way or take the time to sit back and enjoy the view.
Now you may wonder why I have written this blog post in the past tense, given how recently The Nest was installed. Quite simply put, someone felt the need to vandalise and destroy it. Why? Your guess is as good as ours.
However short-lived The Nest project may have been, I’d like to thank Bateleur for their build. And if you’d like to see the creation of The Nest, here’s a wonderful video. Enjoy.