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With Sony Motion Sonic, your dance moves shape the music you're hearing

Sony | "EXPERIMENTAL DEVICE" (ENG) MOTION SONIC PROJECT
Traditionally, music has influenced dancing, but Sony’s prototype Motion Sonic wearable takes things in the opposite direction. In its case, the music that’s playing is directly impacted by the wearer’s movements, making for some interesting results.

Developed as part of Sony’s Motion Sonic Project, the wristband is quite a chunky piece of equipment. It comes equipped with a “six-axis sensor,” capable of tracking rotation, angle, and acceleration, and a trio of microphones, all of which provide data that is used to influence music.

Shown off at this year’s South By South West (SXSW) festival, the device can turn your limbs into individual instruments, apply filters to music that is already playing and manipulate the sound in a number of interesting ways (as per The Verge).

Sony | 音の出るエアギターをつくる

In one demonstration video, a pair of wearers were able to create some interesting sounds and changes to existing music with their movements. In another, more real-world video, we see air guitar become almost as effective as the real thing when you equip a person with two Motion Sonic wearables.

Sony | スゴ技を音に変えてみる

There are some potentially exciting uses for such a piece of technology, though reports cement the fact that it is still an early prototype. The device is said to be quite clunky and uncomfortable and relies heavily on preset movements and settings. It must also be paired with a smartphone and Bluetooth speaker for decent audio, having no speaker functionality of its own.

Sony certainly seems to think the project has legs, though, as it has created some elaborate set piece videos to show that in the right circumstance, you can create some pretty amazing music through motion — it just needs to be in a rather specific setting right now.

Sony | "THE SHOW" MOTION SONIC PROJECT

As interesting as Sony’s Motion Sonic wearable is, it’s not the first time we’ve seen movement control music. Singer Imogen Heap demonstrated a similar technology almost six years ago.

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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