As the Internet of things and systems such as the MaKey MaKey bring everyday objects into the digital realm, one of the most promising innovations so far may be wearable technology. The first product to be created by California-based startup Machina, the MJ v1.0 is a jacket that comes with discrete controllers and sensors that allow the user to create music through gestures alone.
The jacket contains four flexible sensors that detect the user’s finger positions, an accelerometer to identify arm movement, a joystick and four buttons. The sensors can be wirelessly connected to a computer or mobile device and – in the first iteration of the product – are optimized to work with MIDI controllers that are used in music production. Users can set which functions the components correspond to – for example, lifting the arm may raise the volume or change the pitch of the sound, while the buttons could be programmed to make drum sounds or to loop a section of the music. A VST plugin enables the jacket to be connected to popular desktop music production program Ableton Live, although the team are also creating a companion iOS and Android app for a more user-friendly experience. Despite being devised with music creation in mind, the sensors could be programmed to control digital outputs of any kind by those with technical knowledge.
Designed to be worn as a normal jacket when not in use, the MJ v1.0 is identifiable as a piece of technology only by markings that indicate where certain sensors are located. Having successfully raised over USD 75,000 funding from backers on Kickstarter, Machina will now continue testing the jacket to ensure it can be washed and is durable and comfortable, as well as determining mass production possibilities. The company sold its initial run of jackets for USD 285 each. The video below explains the project in detail:
The MJ v1.0 merges fashion, sound and movement in a way that could revolutionize music performance for artists. Given its adaptability, what other uses could this kind of wearable technology help facilitate?
Spotted by: Alexia M and Hemanth Chandrasekar