Boffins turn rocket science into rockin' science

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Boffins turn rocket science into rockin' science

Australian researchers develop air guitar embedded in smart shirt.

Australian researchers have been rocking out in the lab after creating an air guitar embedded in a shirt.

The device works by recognising and interpreting arm movements and relaying the information wirelessly to a computer for audio generation.

Sensors embedded in the shirt sleeves detect motion when the arm bends; in most cases the left arm chooses a note and the right arm plays it. 

A research team at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has also experimented with other air instruments besides the guitar, including a tambourine and a guiro.

"It is an easy to use, virtual instrument that allows real-time music making even by players without significant musical or computing skills," said team leader Richard Helmer.

"Our air guitar consists of a wearable sensor interface embedded in a conventional 'shirt' with custom software to map gestures with audio samples. It allows you to jump around and the sound generated is just like an original MP3."

The research is being conducted as part of an investigation into the design and manufacture of electronic and intelligent textiles to allow users to control computers.

The research at CSIRO is targeted at creating human-computer interfaces to improve device functionality.
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