When you find yourself out and about with a great beat or tune stuck in your head, what do you do? Normally you would either try to remember the tune so that you could get it down on disc or paper later, or take a chance of forgetting it. However, if you happen to be wearing the midi controller jacket from Machina, you can stop what you are doing and record your fantastic tune, and never having to worry about forgetting it again.
What is the Midi Controller Jacket?
The Midi Controller Jacket by Machina is touted as a wearable musical interface for the human body. The purpose is to create beautiful music no matter where you happen to be. However, the jacket is not just about creating the music, it is about being able to actually record the music as well. Using a smart phone, Apple iPod, and even an Xbox 360 Kinect or a Nike Plus device, the wearer can interact with the jacket and the devices to create MIDI music.
While MIDI is old school technology, it is still widely in use today. MIDI, which stands for Music Instrument Digital Interface, is a technology created to connect and allow communication between various digital instruments, computers, and other devices equipped with the proper interface hardware. The technology is commonly found on electronic keyboards and sound boards, as well as various studio equipment. The Midi Controller Jacket goes a step further and allows the wearer to create music simply by moving around. By using a series of sensors throughout the jacket, the hardware is able to detect a range of motion, including acceleration and flexing to create sound.
How the Midi Controller Jacket is Made
The developers of the jacket put a lot of thought and effort into the design, incorporating industrial grade materials that are commonly used for items that require heavy duty, long lasting materials, like camping tents and boat sails. As such, the jacket is waterproof and resistant to wear and tear. After construction of the base jacket, the electronics are inserted and hidden behind flaps and seams. This is done to further protect the delicate circuits and to allow for easy access to the charger port and other necessary objects.
The Technology Behind the Midi Controller Jacket
While the technology used in the Midi Controller jacket was designed to be a MIDI controller, the sensors can be reprogrammed by the user to perform any number of other functions. The jacket includes four flexible sensors that can detect the position and movement of the wearer’s fingers, as well as an accelerometer that is able to determine the position and relative speed of the arm. A simple joystick and four push buttons have also been added to aid in manual music creation. While the buttons and sensors can be configured by the user, the do come configured with presets, so the jacket is usable straight out of the box.
The Midi controller jacket currently uses a VST plugin that enables connection to a specific set of devices, but iOS and Android apps are being developed as well, which will open the device up for use by anyone with a smart phone or tablet.
The Team and Behind the Midi Controller Jacket
The Midi controller jacket is being developed by a group of independent designers and developers, including an Egyptian fashion designer, graphic designers and tailors, as well as a number of people who only refer to themselves by such titles as â€œthe king of tailorsâ€ and â€œa Pakistani legend.â€ But they all have one thing in common â€“ the idea of technological freedom.