Air guitarists’ rock dreams come true
Aspiring rock gods can at last create their own guitar solos - without ever having to pick up a real instrument, thanks to a group of Finnish computer science students.
The Virtual Air Guitar project, developed at the Helsinki University of Technology, adds genuine electric guitar sounds to the passionately played air guitar.
Using a computer to monitor the hand movements of a "player", the system adds riffs and licks to match frantic mid-air finger work. By responding instantly to a wide variety of gestures it promises to turn even the least musically gifted air guitarist to a virtual fret board virtuoso.
Aki Kanerva, Juha Laitinen and Teemu Mäki-Patola came up with the idea after being invited to develop a virtual instrument as part of their coursework. "The first thing that came to mind was an air guitar," Kanerva told New Scientist.
The resulting system consists of a video camera and a computer hooked up to an appropriately loud set of speakers.
A player then needs only to don a pair of brightly coloured gloves in order to rock out. Computer vision software automatically keeps track of their hands and detects different gestures, as a video of the system in action demonstrates
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