Motus is a digital instrument you play with hand gestures and body movements

Music and dance naturally go together, but it’s not always easy to make art in both worlds at once. TZM Creative Lab in Lithuania is aiming to change that with a gesture device called Motus. After starting out as a musical performance tool in the hands of dancers and choreographers, Motus is about to get new life as a Virtual Reality device for music and sound composition. The handheld device is a high-tech way to make music out of any motion, anywhere, at any time.

TZM Creative Lab’s basic idea is to make music accessible for anyone at any ability level. “The space around you becomes a touchless surface, a canvas you can interact with and explore” said TZM founder Mindaugas Badokas. The Motus system recognizes device orientation, rotation, acceleration, and a variety of gestures that can be paired with any musical action on a chosen instrument. At its public release, Motus will include applications for 8 different instruments including a synethesizer, air violin, and percussion shakers. TZM plans to launch an instrument app store for the Motus system that will enable users to switch to any number of sound effects and musical platforms.

The Motus device comes packed with sensors, and integrates with a proprietary musical software platform. The Motus Classic device features an accelerometer and a gyroscope, and the Motus Pro adds on a magnetometer and an altimeter, but all Motus versions connect over Bluetooth 4.0 and are compatible with Windows, OS X or iOS. On top of the standards in the Classic package, the Motus Pro also includes a separate 2.4 GHz Bridg receiver for increased wireless range during professional performances. Motus Pro’s external receiver also has the capacity to host up to 12 different Motus device connections at one time. There is also a Motus Hacker edition that includes a bare-bones developer and electronics kit (soldering iron not included).

Although Motus is already in use on professional stages where motion and music flow in literal coexistence, their Kickstarter campaign will put Motus devices into the hands of the public. A pledge of $79 or more will earn backers a Motus Classic package, $149 will score backers the Motus Pro system, and $49 gets you your own Hacker edition Motus kit. The campaign has already surpassed the midway point of its $28,000 fundraising goal, and if all goes according to plan Motus expects to begin shipping sometime in April of next year.

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