'Contact' technology turns any hard surface into a musical interface
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Published Sunday, March 2, 2014 9:37AM EST
(Relaxnews) - Almost any hard surface can be transformed into a musical and visual interface, thanks to an innovative new project unveiled at the ‘Sensing Spaces' exhibit at the Royal Academy in London earlier this week.
‘Contact' uses contact microphones, passive sonar and waveform analysis to process information such as where the surface has been hit or how the hand has made contact with the wrist or the fingertips. Vibrations from the contact are thrown through instrument patches, meaning that even air gestures can be transformed into melodies.
Different touches trigger different sounds -- for example, wrist and fingernail hits trigger classic 808 Kick and Clap sounds instantaneously. The audio can be recorded and played back with a loop pedal at the user's feet.
Visual projections also accompany the sound, making the software multisensory.
The brainchild of designer and musician Felix Faire, Contact started out as an exploration of the potential of physical contact and acoustic vibration as an interaction medium in tangible materials. It was developed as part of his Masters program at the Bartlett School of Architecture's Interactive Architecture Lab.
Contact is still a work in progress and Faire has no immediate plans to commercialize the technology. However, he told Relaxnews: "I would like to extend the project to as many users as possible as it is a very unique and intriguing experience."