Looks Like a Glove, Plays Like a Musical Instrument

The GePS is a musical project that shows how important integration work is when it comes to gesture controls. Creators [Cedric Spindler] and [Frederic Robinson] demonstrate how the output of a hand-mounted IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) and magnetometer can be used to turn motion, gestures, and quick snap movements into musical output. The GePS is designed to have enough repeatability and low enough latency that feedback is practically immediate. As a result, it can be used and played like any other musical instrument that creates sound from physical movements in a predictable way. It’s not unlike a Theremin in that way, but much more configurable.

To do this, [Cedric] and [Frederic] made GePS from a CurieNano board (based on Intel’s Curie, which also has the IMU on-board) and an XBee radio for a wireless connection to software running on a computer, from which the sounds are played. The device’s sensitivity and low lag means that even small movements can be reliably captured, meaning that the kind of fluid and complex movements that hands do every day can be used as the basis for playing sounds with immediate feedback. In a very real sense, the glove-based GePS is an experimental kind of new instrument, which makes it a fascinating contender for the Musical Instrument Challenge portion of the 2018 Hackaday Prize.

8 thoughts on “Looks Like a Glove, Plays Like a Musical Instrument

  1. This is pretty cool! It reminds me of the project Imogen Heap did with the MiMu gloves. She also uses a Kinect so she can stand in different areas on the stage and it will manipulate her sound.

  2. There is such a spectrum of expressive sound making instruments. However there is a clear difference between triggering or controlling parameters of recorded events and playing live melodic parts or rhythms. There is no reason a smart phone is not capable of true pitch and volume and more thru a sub-cubic meter area, yet I don’t see any apps. Plasma Sound and it’s like are all that exists. Probably because a developer thinks it’s only good for sound effects and not able to be a real musical instrument.

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