Children with physical disabilities who may have had dreams of mastering music might just finally have their opportunity - thanks again to SCIENCE.
Japanese tech developer FOVE have collaborated with the University of Tsukuba’s Special Needs Education School for the Physically Challenged, on a new project using their head-mounted eye-tracking device. The "Universal Piano" incorporates the FOVE device and allows the wearer to play a piano - using just the movements of their eyes.
It looks a little bit like a strap-on Viewfinder, but this awesome piece of tech will open a whole new world of creative expression to those who may have previously been held back physically.
"This project supports each and everyone’s freedom of expression by allowing one to play the piano without the use of hands or arms," explains the project brief.
Here's how it works (taken from the Eye Play The Piano JustGiving page):
- FOVE perceives the users eye movement through the eye tracking technology
- The preferred note can be triggered by looking at the panel within the interface.
- The user blinks on the preferred panels within the interface to trigger the selected note, which is then conveyed to the connected piano via MIDI signal.
- Furthermore, tilting down of the head plays the role of the piano pedal which lengthens the selected note.
The wearer of the device will see something a bit like this, that allows them to control which keys/chords are played:
Technology, man. It just blows. Our. Minds.
But if you want to see the FOVE unit in action, check out the amazing video below of a young boy getting the hang of it and using it to accompany his school choir in a Japanese rendition of "Joy To The World". We're a little past Christmas now, but you'll want to get back into the spirit of Christmas miracles again, because this is a must-see.
Now we just need to combine them with Imogen Heap's voice-augmenting gloves and we can almost cut out real instruments all together.