Mood Ring: Put on an iRing, Wave Your Hands in front of iPhone, iPad for 3D Control [$25]

Talk to the hand, iPhone. Wave-your-hands 3D motion has seen various dedicated accessories – most recently, in the Hot Hand USB wireless and Leap Motion. Even Steinberg are in on the act. But this is definitely a new take. IK Multimedia have a plastic “iRing” you wear on your finger that gives you control of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The system uses the internal, front-facing camera on your iOS device to track the position of your hand. The dots on the rings are a marker that the camera follows through space. There are actually markers on both sides, …

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Lawnmower Man-Style Audiovisuals, in Kinect Experiment, Plus a New Kinect

Oculus Rift + Kinect – Audio visual instrument a001 from Ethno Tekh on Vimeo. That window between science fiction and actual interfaces continues to narrow. Here, virtual hands paw at geometric orbs to produce sound, with simultaneous 3D visuals as accompaniment, in the latest artist/hacker experiment. You can thank the popular and surprisingly-accessible game engine, Unity – which recently added free deployment to mobiles, by the way. Description: This is our first Kinect-controlled, virtual reality experiment, using the greatly anticipated Oculus Rift. It’s a simple virtual reality environment built in Unity 3D with our own interactive framework. It allows us …

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Music with Your Face: Artist Kyle McDonald Talks Face-Tracking Music-making with FaceOSC

Music making with your face? It’s just the latest novel way of manipulating your computer with movement, thanks to a revived interest in camera-based interaction spurred by Microsoft’s Kinect and hackers making it work, and other computer vision libraries. One original work: FaceOSC, which uses custom tracking code and a standard computer webcam (no additional hardware required) and free code to send control information for applications like live music performance. Kyle McDonald may have already wowed you with his face-tracking wizardry, but it’s easy to want to know more. Sure, it’s cool, but, um, what is it for? How do …

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d-touch Tangible Sequencer: Updates to Free Camera+Blocks Drum Machine

Bored with mouse pushing and knob twiddling? The d-touch tangible sequencer / drum machine makes a cheap interface (with free downloadable software) for assembling sequences. Make some (attractive) blocks, set up a webcam, and plug into your computer. I took a first look at this tool last month, and noted its use in sequencing walnuts. (Yes, the ones that fall from trees.) Since then, the developers have been hard at work on updates. Enrico writes: We just released the d-touch sequencer, a new, more advanced, audio application. In the sequencer you can record your own samples in real time. We …

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Gestural Music Sequencer: Video, Processing, and Ableton Live

Gestural Music Sequencer from Unearthed Music on Vimeo. Something as simple as remapping a single knob can give you new musical ideas. So expand that to entire gestures and live video input, and you can help push your performance in new directions and out of old habits. That’s why it’s always great to see projects like the Gestural Music Sequencer. Built entirely in free tools – tools fairly friendly even to non-coders – the GMS lets composer and musician John Keston explore new ideas through gestures captured in a video stream. It’s easier to see than to talk about, so …

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Tangible Interface Hackday: Music with Soda Bottles, Floor Toms, More

Fritzcrate Project / lusidLearn Early Demo from Michael Schieben on Vimeo. Knobs and faders can be rigid. Fancy multitouch devices can be expensive. But for the cost of a webcam and some spare materials, you can build computer interfaces with objects around the house, thanks to the power of open source software. In just one day, a group of artists in the CDM community, from Austria and Germany to New York to Australia, got quite a lot working with tangible interfaces. At top, Michael Schieben and Christophe Stoll experimented with using soda bottles to control software like Future Audio Workshop’s …

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Tangible Interfaces: Beat Sequencing with Beer Bottle Caps

Digital technology has made music oddly invisible, virtualized somewhere inside a screen – but it also allows music to be mapped more literally to the physical world than ever before. Some of these experiments may even be silly, but they suggest a lot of possibilities. From Poland, BeatMachine is a project that sequences beats in a step sequencer using discarded beer bottle caps. Would-be Internet haters, I suggest you count the number of beer bottle caps on the table, and start drinking that number while watching. I guarantee eventually it’ll seem like a brilliant idea. Make sure you keep watching …

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Gooooooal! A Soccer Ball Music Controller, and Tangible Interface Tips for Music

Free software, a webcam, and some stickers printed on an inkjet can turn any object into a real-world controller. That’s what Paul Rose of Institut Fatima and his team did with a soccer ball (translation for the civilized world: football). The software is powered by the same framework used for the reacTable, but in this case there’s no table and no projector: just a ball. Institut FATIMA uses a Fussball as (des-)controller for triggering drumsamples. The camera detects the symbols on the ball, kicks numbers into the sequencer, the sequencer matches goals. The goal is always music. Software used is …

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