All of us have probably tried to learn to play air guitar at least once. Now, some computer scientists in Finland have come up with a device that turns this rock fantasy into real music an air guitar that really plays.
Learn to Play Air Guitar like a Superstar
The virtual guitar is the invention of Aki Kinerva and other computer scientists from the Helsinki University of Technology. All you need is a pair of gloves and a camera. Then you take a rock star pose, like you were holding a real guitar and just rock away.
The camera will be tracking your hand movement along the imaginary fret board, as well as the strumming of the other hand. Then the computer will receive the information and turn the gestures into licks and riffs. While you will probably not share the stage with Eric Clapton, the system gives any of us a chance to feel like a rock superstar.
Ever since rock music was born, teenagers, as well as many adults all over the world have been playing air guitar while listening to their favorite rock bands on the stereo. Now, these computer scientists in Finland have turned this habit into real music with an air guitar that really makes some sounds.
How Does It Work?
To make things even better, the technology is almost entirely invisible. The gloves that you have to wear are just a pair of normal orange gardening gloves. As you are playing (or in my case, learn to play air guitar), a web camera that is programmed to detect only the orange color will watch your gloves and track their movement.
In real time, software designed to recognize gestures will translate your hand movement into sounds. When you will be moving your hand down the fret board, the sound will go higher, as if you were playing a real guitar. It really feels and sounds as if you were actually playing.
What Can You Actually Play?
Sure, you won’t be able to do all you can do on a real guitar. You won’t be able to play songs like Stairway to Heaven on an air guitar. However, if it worked just like a real one, you would probably have to spend months to learn to play air guitar. With an air guitar, you get to feel like a rock guitarist within a few seconds. The things you can do are limited though.
If you want to learn to play air guitar with Kinerva’s technology, there are two models you can choose from: chord and solo mode. If you choose the chord mode, you will only be able to play four different chords. This is indeed limiting, but it’s enough for playing the opening chords of songs like Smoke on the Water and other rock classics. With the solo mode, it will be as if you were running up and down a pentatonic scale, which is the standard key of rock guitar solos.
The best thing is that you can’t actually play it badly. No matter how you’re moving your hands and mixing chords and solo notes, it will sound like you’re playing something.
The whole system works on an ordinary desktop computer. The inventors are now working on a Windows version and air guitar may someday become as common as Game cubes or X-boxes. Who knows, maybe it will even inspire some people to sit down and learn to play a real guitar.
You may find this post interesting :