Think SIGGRAPH’s all about far-out design concepts? Think again. A crew from the Tokyo Metropolitan University IDEEA Lab was on hand here at the show’s experimental wing showcasing a new “musical interface,” one that’s highly tactile and darn near impossible to walk away from. Upon first glance, it reminded us most of Yamaha’s Tenori-On, but the “universal input / output box” is actually far deeper and somewhat more interactive in use. A grand total of 16 solenoids are loaded in, and every one of ’em are loaded up with sensors.
Users can tap any button to create a downbeat (behind the scenes, a sequencer flips to “on”), which will rise in unison with the music until you tap it once more to settle it (and in turn, eliminate said beat). You can grab hold of a peg in order to sustain a given note until you let it loose. There’s a few pitch / tone buttons that serve an extra purpose — one that we’re sure you can guess by their names. Those are capable of spinning left and right, with pitch shifting and speeds increasing / decreasing with your movements. The learning curve here is practically nonexistent, and while folks at the booth had no hard information regarding an on-sale date, they confirmed to us that hawking it is most certainly on the roadmap… somewhere.