Researchers at CSIRO have created a “wearable instrument shirt” which enables users to play an “air guitar” by moving one arm to pick chords and the other to strum the imaginary instrument’s strings.
‘Freedom of movement is a great feature of these textile-based interfaces,’ said Dr Helmer who led a team of researchers at CSIRO Textiles and Fibre Technology in
‘It’s an easy-to-use, virtual instrument that allows real-time music making – even by players without significant musical or computing skills. It allows you to jump around and the sound generated is just like an original mp3.’
Textile motion sensors embedded in the shirt sleeves detect motion when the arm bends – in most cases the left arm chooses a note and the right arm plays it.
By customising the software, the team has also tailored the technology to make an air tambourine and an air guiro (percussion instrument).
Dr Helmer said the development of the
‘The technology – which is adaptable to almost any kind of apparel – takes clothing beyond its traditional role of protection and fashion into the realms of entertainment and a wide range of other applications including the development of clothes which will be able to monitor physiological changes,’ he said.