If you're the kind of person who can't help tapping, slapping and rapping on things as you dance around the kitchen waiting for food to cook, well now there's an app for that. Three, actually. And a device that reads your perfunctory percussion and transmits the signal into your phone for you to play games with.
We first heard about Mogees in 2012 as the result of a PhD project, and again in 2014 when the product first hit Kickstarter. Now it's back on the crowdfunding stage in the form of Mogees Play, a new version with a refined, brightened look and a focus on more casual game-playing and music-making.
NEW ATLAS NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT
Upgrade to a Plus subscription today, and read the site without ads.
It's just US$19 a year.UPGRADE NOW
It's made up of a small cylinder that sticks to surfaces and uses a contact microphone to read the vibrations in the object as you tap, slap and scratch it. Software records the intensity, speed, timbre and length of the sound, and each of Mogees Play's three apps uses that input in different ways.
Pulse for iOS/Android is essentially Guitar Hero, where whatever surface you're tapping away on takes the place of the plastic guitar controllers. Like that classic rhythm game, dots scroll downwards on the screen in multiple channels, and tapping on either the left or right side of the sensor in time with action onscreen will let you hit the corresponding note. Sections of sustained sound can be achieved by scratching the surface.
Jam (also iOS/Android) is a bit more freeform, allowing users to record samples of different sounds and mix them to create rhythms and loops. Keys works in a similar way, letting you build melodies, arpeggios and chords, but it's only available on iOS platforms.
One of the stretch goals of the first Kickstarter campaign was to develop the platform as an educational tool, and the company claims that Pulse is designed to subtly teach players to develop an ear for rhythm, timbre, velocity and melody, and that Jam acts as a workshop to put those skills to use.
To increase the applications for the hardware, Mogees announced that it's granting developers and students access to its systems for real-time signal processing, machine learning and gesture recognition. Examples given by the company include tapping to control the flight of the character in Flappy Bird, and scratching a surface to dim and brighten a light using Philips Hue.
Mogees Play is currently seeking funding through a Kickstarter campaign, where Super Early Bird pledges start at £29 (about US $37), before pledges rise to £49. The campaign runs until Aug 5, with units shipping out in September if all goes to plan. The developers discuss the product in the video below.
Source: Mogees Play