15 February 2006

Air guitar technology takes the great leap forward

Playing air guitar rules. Whether you compete in the US Air Guitar Championships, or just play a little air guitar on the weekends as a hobby, the following story will be of some interest to you. See, there are some scientists in Finland who are trying to blend a new form of synthesizer with the style of movement/dancing/imitation that is air guitar.

From an article on the BBC website:

The Virtual Air Guitar can be mastered in just a few seconds. You simply put on a pair of orange gloves, stand in front of a camera which is attached to a computer and the software reads your hand movements to create music, of a sort.

There are two basic programs: chords and solo. The chords on offer are perhaps a little basic but even the most musically inept can, within a minute or two, produce the opening riff to Deep Purple's classic Smoke on the Water.

One member of the team behind the project, Aki Kanerva at the Helsinki University of Technology, said the tune was ideal as it was both "easy to play and has the right spirit of rock".

But it is the "solo" function that truly unlocks the guitar's potential. Simply by frantically waggling your hands in a vague imitation of playing a guitar you can do a passable impression of a guitar soloist. Aki's performance saw him playing behind his head and on his back. All he had to do was to keep his little orange gloves within sight of the camera.
Read the rest HERE and do yourself a favor and check out the video clip linked to within that article to see this technology in action.

Also, why not check out this air guitar performance of "Welcome to the Jungle".