The Reactable was conceived and developed since 2003 by a research team at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Sergi Jordà, Günter Geiger, Martin Kaltenbrunner and Marcos Alonso presented their creation for the first time in a public concert at the International Computer Music Conference 2005 in Barcelona. In 2009 the company Reactable Systems was founded to meet the demand and to further develop the instrument and its possibilities.

The instrument got known to a wider audience when the team released several demonstration videos on Youtube in late 2006, which up to now have been watched more than six million times. After seeing the demonstration videos, Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk successfully incorporated the Reactable on her world tour Volta (2007-2008), where Damian Taylor played the Reactable at the big stage during about 80 concerts. With Matt Robertson on the Reactable, Björk continued to use the instrument during her Biophilia tour (2011-2013). Other eminent musicians use the instrument for their music, in shows and videos, most recently Coldplay who debuted their Reactable at the iTunes Festival 2014. In parallel, during the last years, the Reactable team has given more than 200 presentations and concerts in over 30 countries.

Following an overwhelming response within the blogosphere, the Reactable was featured in various major TV and print magazines, becoming one of the most popular and worldwide acclaimed new musical instruments of the early 21st century. Declared the Hot Instrument of the Year by the Rolling Stone Magazine (2007), the Reactable has also received several prestigious international awards such as the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Digital Musics (2008), two D&AD Yellow Pencil Awards (2008), the MIDEM Hottest Music Biz Start-Up Award (2008) or the prize Ciutat de Barcelona (2007).