Mictic's motion-tracking wristbands turn movement into music
The Mictic body instrument is a pair of motion-sensing wristbands that connect to your phone via Bluetooth and then create music to match your movements, giving you the chance to play weird air-instruments, or generate a custom soundtrack for your dance moves.
Each Mictic bracelet looks more or less like a Fitbit, and sits on your wrist feeding back a bunch of multi-access accelerometer data, which an iOS/Android app uses to make some decisions on what sounds to play. In one mode, it makes industrial noises to give you sound effects for your robot dance. In another, it spits out drum and bass riffs to match your movements, becoming more frenetic as your dancing does.
In a third, it lets you play a kind of air piano and drums instrument, splashing jazzy improvisation around that gets higher as you move your right hand right, and lower as you move it left, while generating beats to match. And in a fourth, it lets you sit in a chair and act like you're playing a cello, and it tries to guess what you're playing and replicate that in a cello sound.
The Mictic is one of a range of new gadgets (they're not really instruments, they're halfway to toys) that aim to democratize music by obliterating the whole learning and practice barriers and making it extremely simple to jump in, have fun and make cool sounds and beats.
The tradeoff, of course, is there's no precision to speak of, and you more or less just have to take whatever note or musical idea the system gives you. So you can probably happily improvise away and enjoy the soundscape, but you'd be hard-pressed to replicate it or play a particular song using the technology.
Still, it looks like it'd make a great tool for street performers, and a fun toy to experiment with. It's on pre-order now for US$99 plus shipping, with deliveries slated for 2020. We've embedded a bunch of videos below to show the different modes.