Create Music With the Wave of a Hand – Mi.Mu Mega Gloves

Mi.Mu Mega Gloves

Backed by singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, the Mi.Mu Mega gloves allow the wearer to manipulate sound in almost limitless ways.

Theremin is history —now you can make science fiction-sounding music just by waving your arms in the air.

The Mi.Mu Mega Gloves Concept – the Inception :

For the past four years, London-based singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, worked with a team of engineers and designers, including scientists from NASA and MIT, to create the sleek e-textile gloves, which are full of chips and sensors. The gloves allow the wearer to remotely manipulate recorded sound and musical tracks by waving the arms, pointing the fingers, making a fist, rotating the wrists, or air drumming an entire virtual drum kit.

Result: A pair of digital gloves that allow you to perform elaborate otherworldly symphonies by sculpting the air with your hands.

Mi.Mu Mega Gloves
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Mi.Mu Mega Golves – The Launch

They launched a Kickstarter campaign last month that would fund development of ten pairs of gloves and make the technology open-source. Individual musicians will be able to program the gloves to translate movement into sound in ways that feel most intuitive to them by mapping these movements onto music writing software such as Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, or Max MSP—basically, anything programmed to use common digital music languages such as MIDI or Open Sound Control.

Mi.Mu Mega gloves – The Mechanics
The Mi.Mu gloves are sensitive to subtle movements. Tiny hardware boards at the wrist contain an accelerometer, a magnetometer, and a gyroscope that provide precise information about the speed at which the hand is moving and the orientation of the hand in space (up, down, left, right, forward, or backward).

Each glove contains flex sensors over the knuckles to identify the posture of the hand. It also contains a haptic motor near the heel of the hand, which can be programmed to vibrate if, for example, a certain note in a sequence has been hit. And tiny LED lights between the thumb and forefinger can be programmed to blink green or red depending on, say, whether the wearer is in recording mode. In combination, these capabilities allow for thousands of sound manipulations.

Mi.Mu Mega Gloves
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Investment And Future Plans

Those who have contributed the roughly $2000 per glove include an ice dance choreographer for Disney, and an actual theremin player, and performance artist in Atlanta. Ultimately, the nonprofit group behind the device, which calls itself The Gloves Project, wants to make the gloves cheaply enough that it can sell them for a few hundred bucks a pair.

“It just feels like the time of the musician hunched behind their laptop is long gone,” said Heap, who says she started the project because she wanted a more dynamic and intuitive way to perform her electronic music on stage. “You can do so much with your body, you can use your body as a musical instrument. It’s fascinating to watch when other people use the gloves because all of a sudden they realize they’re making music in 3D. It takes on this whole spherical, global, shape in your mind.”

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