Innovation That Matters

Wearable musical instruments | Photo source Pixabay

Wearable instruments enable colour-based music creation

Publishing & Media

Colours could become a unique way of creating music through a ring-style wearable instrument.

Spotted: Music is one of the most common means of omnipresent technology in our daily lives. Headphones and mobile speakers have evolved into audio sunglasses and personalised car stereos to mean that there never needs to be a time when we are without audio. But what of creating music? A new wearable could enable users to play instruments that fit on their hands.

Sphero, the company behind Star Wars’ iconic rolling robots, have now turned their hand to developing musical, motion-enabled Bluetooth rings. Dubbed Specdrums, the products are part of a new STEAM initiative. A spin-off of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), the extra ‘A’ stands for Arts. Essentially the product is a sign of the push for technology to have more influence in creative, artistic fields. Specdrums are Bluetooth, MIDI-compatible, finger-worn, musical instruments, focused on musical creation.

They work by tapping variously coloured surfaces around the user. The ring then flashes and senses the colour, sending the data back to the paired phone app. This software then converts the input into a sound, thereby enabling real-time music creation. The conflation of audio and visual stimulus here adds a whole new level to artistic creativity. It can also function through multiple rings to offer greater flexibility to the creator.

Sphero began testing Specdrums’ integration into existing apps such as Garageband last year. Now coding advances have enabled a whole new spectrum of potential for the rings in the future. Specdrums began shipping on 15th January 2019, at a retail cost of €58 ($65) or two for €90 ($100).



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