If you thought that the shimmery gloves that Michael Jackson wore was pretty cool, perhaps you should take a look at what Imogen Heap is wearing these days. At the TED Global Stage in Edinburgh, Scotland a couple of days ago, Imogen Heap not only performed for the audience, but also showed off a new pair of high tech gloves which demonstrated an entirely new way of creating music.
Designed to give the singer-songwriter more control over her music, Professor Tom Mitchell led a team from the University of West England and took some fibre-optic gloves which were originally designed for gaming, and covered them with accelerometers and magnetometers. The sensors are used to detect movement, and the chips will interpret hand and arm movements, which is then transmitted wirelessly back to a computer, which will put it all together and produce a piece of music in real time.
The artist has plans to start incorporating the use of the gloves in her future performances, and while commercializing them isn’t her primary goal, Imogen Heap had this to say:
“I love the idea that you can buy a pair of these gloves … be connected to an iPhone app … and capture sound on the street and start making beats while you’re waiting at the bus stop … and upload that to a database.”