The potential for tablets as virtual musical creation devices has spawned a number of hardware add-ons aimed at bringing a new level of physical interaction to the table. Following this school of thought is the C.24 from Miselu: a Bluetooth enabled, two octave wireless music keyboard for iPad that doubles as a cover.
The keys on the C.24 use anti-polarity magnets to create the feeling musicians are used to. According to the creators, magnets were chosen instead of traditional springs to improve reliability and extend the life of the device.
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To translate the position of keys to the the iPad via the wireless link, each press is sensed by an infrared emitter detector pair and in addition to the traditional keys, the C.24 has a capacitive sensor strip. This allows the user to control additional functions while building a song with the device. Controls for changing between octaves are on the right and the left panel enables pitch bending.
Miselu has developed an app called KEY to work with C.24. This app also allows users to output to any CoreMIDI compatible iOS application for music creation.
The team has also allowed for the addition of hardware control modules like faders and XY pads and plans to develop its own, as well as open up these expansion possibilities to third-parties.
For its other role as an iPad case, the keyboard folds flat (making it about as thick as the iPad itself) and attaches to the tablet through a magnetic latch.
The C.24 is designed to work with the iPad 2 through the latest models. Miselu is seeking funding for the device on Kickstarter and has already far exceeded its US$99,000 goal. Interested backers can still grab a device for $99, but once the early bird special runs out, the minimum pledge required goes up to $149.
The designers discuss the development of the C.24 in the Kickstarter video pitch below.