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Will Imogen Heap's New Gloves Change The Way We Make Music?

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Imogen’s hip gloves

When I watched this video showing English singer-songwriter and composer Imogen Heap demonstrating this new pair of gloves at her home studio, I saw the future. You have to admit it, looks like something taken from a sci-fi movie, except it is happening now. Actually we should never underestimate what we see in futuristic movie, as it becomes reality faster that we can imagine.

As she explain, this new technology helps her gesturally interact with her computer, and just by doing hands and arms gestures, she can make music:

‘Pushing buttons and twiddling dials “is not very exciting for me or the audience’, she says, ‘[Now] I can make music on the move, in the flow and more humanly, [and] more naturally engage with my computer software and technology.’

With the gloves, you have access to what is stored inside a computer without going to a keyboard, they capture the movements and postures of your hands, and since my understanding of computer technology is quite limited, I will just copy what they say: ‘Each gesture-control glove contains a wifi-enabled x-IMU board developed by x-IO Technologies containing an accelerometer, a magnetometer and a gyroscope. These work together with a series of motion sensors incorporated into the fingers of each glove that track the degree of bend and the spread of the fingers. The gloves can also understand postures such as an open palm, a finger-point or a closed fist.’

And this is really impressive new technology, Imogen is playing an invisible synth, making sound with the air, as each of her moves allows her to modulate the sound in all sorts of ways. And the new glove is even better with sensors and wiring all integrated into fabric.

Imogen started her project four years ago with a team of scientists and she now wants to make these first Mi.Mu gloves available for everybody and change the way we make music. A Kickstarter campaign has already raised £44,543, for a goal of £200,000. So will the product take off? It should as it looks so easy to use, so intuitive, and at this point, it seems everyone should be able to compose music.

The gloves that will “change the way we make music”, with Imogen Heap from Dezeen on Vimeo.

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