Musical instruments and the latest tech are a match made in heaven as far as we’re concerned. It’s great to see traditional musical experiences merging with technology, which is why we’ve previously written about projects like Instrument1. Now a new startup on Kickstarter, Remidi, is looking to combine music with one of the biggest tech trends around: wearables.
At its simplest, Remidi’s T8 is a glove that makes sounds. You can assign various sensors in the fingers or palm as different notes, chords, or samples. The glove is a MIDI-controller, so it will work with all the best sound-editing software. Already it sounds like a cool project, letting you tap away to make beats. Although the guitar is my weapon of choice, the drums are my air instrument of choice and I’m always tapping away. With the T8 I could start making some real tunes with nothing but my hands, rather than simply annoying those sitting around me.
Look a little closer and the T8 is a lot more capable than you might think. The sensors themselves allow precise sound control as the glove reads how hard you press your finger and how softly you release it so you have real control over the duration of notes and samples. The most impressive technology is in the T8 controller that’s worn on the wrist. Your hand movements are tracked and control more advanced sound customisation such as reverb, echo, tone, and temp. Imagine tapping two fingers together to create a cool beat. If you move your arm up or down as you tap, you can change the tone of the sound or the speed of a sample. That’s a surprising amount of control for such a simple, intimate instrument.
Although the T8 is a MIDI-controller and can plug into your favourite music software on your computer, it also functions with Remidi’s own smartphone app. The app allows you to set the sensors to different sounds and customise the performance. It also allows you to record on-the-go, which means if you get an amazing musical idea in the park then you can just tap it out in case you forget by the time you’re home. It’s nice to know the glove will work straight out of the box but it will be most useful once you’re sat in front of GarageBand.
Remidi tout the T8 as the first wearable instrument but that’s obviously not true. We’ve already seen plenty of instruments including MIDI-controllers come in the form of jackets, trousers, and even gloves. That being said, the T8 looks like it will offer a lot more customisation and control over your performances due to the gesture recognition. For most of us it’s probably a bit of a gimmick but on the right hands it could be a terrific tool. I imagine it will get some love from those who perform electronic music live.
The Remidi T8 isn’t available for sale yet except as part of its current Kickstarter campaign. The backing starts at $199 (£140) plus shipping at $29 (£20.50), which rewards you with your very own wearable instrument. There’s also a $375 (£265) option that will get you a pair of the gloves. The T8 will cost closer to £400 once it’s on sale so if you’re really interested it might be worth backing now!
Main image © Remidi