The Nintendo Power Glove of music could transform how pop songs are played

April 22, 2014

Whenever we play the air drums, we imagine that our hands are actually playing music—but, of course, they never are, because we have zero musical talent. Now, though, we’ve seen an instrument that allows musicians to create songs using their hands and only their hands: Enter the Mi.Mu glove.

Resembling a pair of fingerless gloves, the glove was developed for U.K. songwriter Imogen Heap. It’s being dubbed a gestural music system, which, using lights and motion detectors, allows its user to navigate through thousands of MIDI instruments and sounds. Mi.Mu, according to its developers, is a more intuitive way to play digital music.

“Most of us on our small team are musicians who are tired of being stuck behind computer screens, keyboards, faders, knobs, and buttons to make our music,” its Kickstarter page says. “We feel there could be a better way that is more like the experiences we have with traditional instruments: using the dexterity and mobility of the human body.”

It also could have an impact on live performances: Imagine, for example, a performance where dancing actually creates, as oppose to compliments, music. “Imagine, for example, that instead of turning up a fader in order to bring in a sound or add reverb, you could be raising your arms to achieve the same effect,” the team writes.

“Not only is this much more intuitive, it is also more enjoyable to watch, making it easier for your audience to connect with what you’re doing. Our aim is to break down the barriers between musicians and machines, and between performers and audiences.”

Specifically, the gloves would track up and down movements, fist clenching, and flexing of fingers, and it’s built on open-source code. As for the price? It projects to be a whopping $1,260. Still not convinced? Check Mi.Mu in action below.


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