Wireless wearable sensor uses movement to play or control music
We've seen a few gadgets that turn a user's movement into music, including the Interactive Music Battle, the Motus and the Mictic. The latest entry comes from German startup the Instruments of Things, which takes the form of Bluetooth-enabled wearable sensors that track movement and a receiver hub connected to a smartphone running an app that translates your moves into sound or effects.
The SOMI-1 system is made up of three parts. The first is a disc-like sensor that weighs 9.4 g (0.33 oz) including the battery, and can be worn with the included wristband to sport the look of a smartwatch or fitness tracker.
But this wearable doesn't keep tabs on health metrics, it measures the direction and speed of different movements by the user. This data is sent wirelessly over Bluetooth 5 to a receiver hub that plugs into a smartphone for translation into sounds through a companion iOS/Android app.
The app has numerous sound plugins and presets for creative control, and users won't need any specific training to get started, though power players can dive deeper into the settings to alter movement mappings and add new sounds.
The wireless transfer range is reported to be up to 50 m (164 ft) and the hub can receive low latency data (under 10 ms) from up to six wearables at once. The system is also compatible with MIDI, so can be used with music production suites running on other hardware.
As for who might find this useful. Musicians can add new dimensions to their playing, such as triggering effects or recorded loops with gestures mid-performance. The same is true for DJs, who could perhaps control the rhythm of the music with the wave of an arm. And dancers can match the flow of music to their performance, or mix things up by adding custom sound effects to a music track.
The Instruments of Things is raising production funds for the SOMI-1 package on Kickstarter, where kits of two sensors, two wristbands, and a hub start at €379 (~US$445). If all goes to plan, shipping to backers is estimated to start in August 2022. The video below has more.
Source: Instruments of Things