Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Play music with your head, even if you are mostly paralyzed

Pic: The user positions him/herself in front of the camera and chooses a tracking point (usually the tip of the nose). (Credit: Rensselaer/Zane Van Dusen)

Even better than a theremin? I'm pleased to see another musical instrument/device that is played without having to actually touch it.

"The team [Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's student Zane Van Dusen, along with Pauline Oliveros, a world-renowned musician and distinguished professor of the arts at Rensselaer] designed and implemented a computer interface that tracks the movement of a user’s head to allow them to produce electronic sounds and compose music on a virtual keyboard in both solo and ensemble settings."

This is just the beginning. They hope to use this interface for a variety of tasks.

"Beyond musical communication, Van Dusen sees potential for the device to allow users to create verbal exchanges: “The interface could be adapted to create speech software, allowing those who suffer from CP to form full sentences, rather than just yes or no responses.”"


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