Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Eye Play the Piano" Helps Physically Impaired Children Play the Piano

The power and reach of technology grows every year, and now a Japanese company has created a way for disabled children (and adults) to be able to play the piano using only their eyes. The company FOVE has teamed up with the University of Tsukuba to invent a headset that tracks the eye movement of the user. This of course has many possible applications, but in this case it is being used to play the piano. The wearer of the headset simply looks at panels on the virtual reality headset and this triggers piano notes and even chords.

The system appears to have at least 3 different modes, one where the user can play single notes, a second mode where they can play chords with accompanying bass notes, and a third where they can play a melody and a chord and/or bass note is played along with their melody.

How amazing and awesome is this! Now children who could previously never dream of playing the piano, can now do so and not only play existing songs, but also learn to write new songs utilizing this technology. This opens up a whole new world of playing and creating music for an audience who will immensely benefit from this capability. Take a look at this short 3 minute video demonstration that shows a young boy playing the piano accompanying a choir of physically impaired children singing "Joy to the World".

We first read about this amazing invention though an article in The Guardian here: The Guardian: "Disabled Play Piano Using Virtual Reality Headset". In the article they explain a bit more about the technology and where its leading to next. FOVE and the University of Tsukuba are now seeking funding to help distribute this technology to schools for the physically impaired. Presumably this will start in Japan and hopefully soon spread to the rest of the world. Personally I can't wait to see what future capabilities develop through this as the technology continues to evolve and becomes available to more children and adults who can benefit from it.

That's our musical tech tidbit for the day. We hope you all had a great week and will be back with another post early in the week. Stay warm (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere) and stay safe!

Peace, Love & Music,

Vincent James @

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