The Soli interaction sensor uses radar for motion tracking of the human hand. The sensor tracks sub-millimeter motion at high speeds with great accuracy. There are a number of gestures that can be used to control virtually anything. The technology itself is quite stunning when you see the video. It’s like a step forward from the concept of gestural gloves to trigger music samples and effects.
So, what does Soli have to do with music making? Well by itself, Google’s Project Soli is a platform. But the good news is that I/O has created what they call the world’s tiniest violin using “Project Soli combined with Wekinator machine learning tool and openFrameworks.”
In short, this allows tiny hand and finger movements to be picked up by Soli’s radar which look like someone is playing a violin.
Now, my understanding is that the “violin” is currently playing back audio samples, it’s not yet a MIDI controller. The gestures were recorded and mapped to a violin sample that is played back.
While The World's Tiniest Violin is indeed excellent in itself, even more exciting for yours truly is the potential for the use of Project Soli for MIDI, OSC and other protocol music controllers. Imagine being able to adjust filter cuttoff in Ableton by sliding you finger, or triggering clips or muting channels by pressing your fingers together in a more intuitive and subtle way than with other less sensitive motion or gesture controllers.
The Project Soli Alpha Dev Kit is availble, so all DIYers amongst us might want to check it out...
More about Project Soli: https://atap.google.com/soli/