Stringless Guitar Makes Music From Thin Air...

Courtesy of ibTimes

Air guitar - few of us have resisted the urge to play it at some point in our lives.

But thanks to this new wearable device, the air guitar just became a 'real' musical instrument.

The Kurv "Palm Guitar" consists of 2 components: a button pad that fits neatly into the player's palm, and an oversize sensor-packed guitar pick that recognizes the Kurv players strumming movements.

"Press down on the chord to select it, and then take the pick and strum, like so, to play the sound," explained Kurv Music Lead Jack Fuller.

The string-less guitar combines research from Goldsmiths, University of London and the University of Sussex.

Kurv co-founder Suran Goonatilake explained that the seemingly simple device is packed with technology.

"What we've done is take a whole bunch of different sensors, accelero-meters, gyroscopes, magnetometers, pressure sensitive stuff; and then combine that with a mobile phone which has the computational power to actually drive real-time music synthesis. And then combined that with another bunch of technologies, in this case machine learning, to really understand your gestures."

The years of practice -- not to mention blisters -- needed to play the guitar proficiently mean many people quickly give up.

But the Kurv allows anyone to learn the basics in minutes.

Student Millie has never picked up a real guitar, but within five minutes gave a passable rendition of Deep Purple's famous 'Smoke on the Water' riff.

"I didn't think I could do it, but today I believe I can, so yeah - it's great!"

With the full chromatic scale, the team says Kurv could be a useful tool for guitarists and musicians.

"So we mapped out the entire guitar and bass fret-board, and we did acoustic and electric guitar. And we did single notes, and the total I think came to well over a thousand samples. So there's a huge amount of possibility," said Fuller.

Accomplished guitarists may need a bit more convincing.

"I kind of miss the wood. The wood is a very important part of it. But I'm sure it's going to be a good toy for many kids," said one passerby.

Kurv Guitar recently launched on Kickstarter.

The patent-pending prototype is still being tested and perfected.

But the makers hope early adopters will take the technology to new levels... and give the air guitar the sound it's been looking for.


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