Kinect ‘Drawable Synthesizer’ – Is There A Future For Tangible Virtual Instruments?

This is a demonstration of a Kinect ‘drawable synthesizer’, via roboczar. You draw buttons, and they become keys you can play.

Latency and resolution are clearly issues with the first gen Kinect, but the idea embodied in the demo above has a lot of potential.

What do you think of the future potential of ‘drawable instruments’ for the Kinect and its descendants?

5 thoughts on “Kinect ‘Drawable Synthesizer’ – Is There A Future For Tangible Virtual Instruments?

  1. When looking at this from a musical perspective (giving it an attempt anyway) then I have some serious doubts. As you can see the whole thing comes with quite a dose of latency on its own. Not sure what to make of that.

    But when looking at this from a performing perspective (which is only guessing on my part) then I could well imagine that you can do something here. Sure; someone is playing a keyboard / synth, you put a camera on it and show that image over close circuitry so that everyone can watch.

    But isn't that a bit dull? I can well imagine that if you capture the movement and then use that to setup some digital playing performance… why not? Its electronic music so why shouldn't the act get a dose of that as well?

    Obviously; whether all of that is feasible or not is something I can't say. But I really think there could be potential here.

  2. Like Synthfan said, I've got doubts about how useful this is right now – but it should get cooler as the technology gets better.

    This reminds me, though, of something Trent Reznor did at the last NIN tour. They had some sort of giant projection screen that a 16-beat grid on it. When he touched a grid square, the square lit up and activated a drum sound on that beat.

    Seems like something like that would be viable with this approach right now.

  3. Latency wouldn't be any problem in the future with USB 3.0 and all, higher frame rates and better prediction algorithm's. I think it would become very handy to control synths with this, you can draw any interface that fits you.

  4. There is a future of course. It all depends on researchers, DIYers, musicians, everyone… the results depend on all those factors. Like there is a present for multitouch (lemur, ipad) there's a future for gestural interaction such as 3d depth cameras – kinect.

    Just one more thing: that isn't exactly "tangible". I would classify it from a different perspective – but its an ongoing discussion in the HCI field. If you want better example: reactable, blockjam, pin&play&perform – These are tangible musical interfaces, for sure.

    happy to see this subject here on synthopia, keep it.

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