Posted: January 28, 2012
Check It Out

At first glance, the Airpiano looks like it could be a breakthrough musical instrument designed for the hearing impaired, but it's actually a MIDI and OSC controller that allows users blessed with the gift of sound to trigger invisible keys and faders in midair. Aaannnd the deaf get the shaft once again. The Airpiano connects via USB to a Mac or PC, where programmable software (included) generates the instrument's sounds. The software allows for the creation of up to 24 virtual keys and 8 virtual faders at a time, distributed between the piano's 8 infrared proximity sensors. Groundbreaking, soul-stirring, butt-rocking, or otherwise pleasing key combinations can be saved as presets, and presets archived to reflect different musical properties and vibes.

Hovering hands above the Airpiano's infrared sensors triggers the software. Each sensor houses 3 of the pre-programmed keys and 1 fader, with individual effects brought forth based on the hand's distance from the source. Red LEDs orient the user and provide visual feedback for gauging hand placement. This type of touch-free interface is the first of its kind in the musical world (though, of course, it's existed for centuries in the losers lusting after hot chicks world).

Airpiano is still undergoing tweaks, but to fund them, a few first runs are available for purchase to anyone who wants to spend over a grand to be a guinea pig. Dimensions are 37.8" x 6.2" x 1", weight is 6.2 pounds.

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