Recently, Wired Magazine shared a Kickstarter campaign, backed by Imogen Heap, to promote the development, design and hopeful manufacturing of Mi.Mu Gloves that allow the user, through sensor technology to literally control the music that they writing and producing. Imogen shared that at most electronic-rock concerts (her speciality), many composers and performers spend the majority of the “face time” with their audiences tucked behind computers, electronic synth pads and keyboards. She wanted to put forth this project to bring composers face to face with their audiences while bringing the artists’ passion and talents forward as well — allowing a natural, more expressive involvement.
The gloves contain a series of sensors that track the user’s hand position, movement and speed — even the slightest, smallest movement denotes an action when composing. No two users operate the gloves in the same way. The signals are sent through open wi-fi networks to mostly all music engineering software and “talk to” the user (providing a sense of two-way communication). The gloves and the software can be programmed to meet the user’s needs – different gestures, movements and voice commands can mean something different from one user to the next.
The video below shows the glove prototype in action as performed by Imogen, live on British TV. It is quite interesting to see what is controllable with just the position of her hand spatially (high, low, left versus right) and that recorded sounds are also instantaneously usable as well. Patterns of tones and voices are usable content to create tracks immediately.
There are other types of gloves on the market, but none that bring the musician closer to the music at hand (pun intended!) This article struck my attention, not only as a musician myself, but as an avid follower of the wearable technology buzz. It’s amazing how far this product has come especially in the beginning stages. The average cost is about $2000USD but hopes are to bring the price point lower once it is mass marketed. There is about another month left in the campaign and there is great buzz and interest.
What do you think? Do you “glove” it?