From Disneyland to You: Q+A with Creator of Disney’s Air Interaction Aireal

Ideas for interaction have come from many places. But with illusion and immersion a key part of the magic of digital experiences today, maybe it’s about time to take a stroll to Disneyland. Yesterday, we saw the novel idea of using blasts of air to provide physical feedback without requiring touch: Into Thin Air: Disney’s […]

Into Thin Air: Disney's Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists

The bane of wave-your-hands-in-the-air interaction systems is that you can’t feel anything when you use them. Swatting the air with your hands in front of a Kinect, for instance, gives you nothing in tactile resistance – those invisible objects can be seen, but not felt. So what’s the solution? Well, if the interaction is in […]

Into Thin Air: Disney’s Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists

The bane of wave-your-hands-in-the-air interaction systems is that you can’t feel anything when you use them. Swatting the air with your hands in front of a Kinect, for instance, gives you nothing in tactile resistance – those invisible objects can be seen, but not felt. So what’s the solution? Well, if the interaction is in […]

As Touch and Laptops Converge, Finally Potential for Music Making? [Prelude]

“Where are my touch laptops?” It’s becoming the “where are my flying cars?” of the laptop music age. And so it is that I’m here in Taipei, Taiwan, having spent today hanging out with Acer as they talk about what they’re doing with touch on their computers (laptops and tablets). The touch laptops are here […]

Bleeding-Edge Musical Innovation, Live from CCRMA; Full Report, Monolake + Tarik Barri Live

Ivory tower, let down your hair. Make no mistake. The slightly-impossible-to-pronounce acronym CCRMA (“karma”), standing for the not-terribly-sexy “Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics,” is one of the world’s hotbeds for innovation in electronic music. From the lowest-level DSP code to the craziest live performances, this northern California research center nesting at Stanford […]

Traktor DJ on iPhone, Waveforms and Touch, and the Phone As Desktop Companion

Not long after its debut on the iPad, Traktor DJ is available for the iPhone and iPod touch. The surprise is that more or less all the functionality of the bigger iPad version is there, only reorganized visually for the smaller screen. In fact, zoom in on a waveform and it’s the same height in […]

Breeding Beats: Pattern Mutation with Elektron Machinedrum + iPad

For all the variety in synths and control methods, patterns and sequencing often tend to be rather same-y. That’s why it’s wonderful to see things like this short video from Jakob Penca. In it, rhythms mutate and vary, all as clever gestures on an iPad manipulate the beat-making noises of an Elektron Machinedrum. The app […]

Freehand Playable Circles, in Any Tuning, on iPad: New Orphion Editor

Design is the art of compromise. And so, as the touch tablet asks you to sacrifice some things – velocity sensitivity, physical separation, tactile feedback – it gives back the ability to produce freeform interfaces. The iPad’s downside is that it is a piece of undifferentiated glass; its upside is that that glass can transform […]

A DJ App for iPad That’s Modular, For Exactly What You Want: d(- -)b from touchAble Creators

d(- -)b brings the colorful, visual, touchable waveforms that are part of the draw of iPad DJing. But to that, it adds another trick: custom, modular layouts, letting you choose up to six decks, for instance. Two decks, or more decks? Horizontal, or vertical waveforms? Which controls? DJ app designers normally have to make such […]

As a Musician Loses Her Sight, A Rush for Music Apps for the Blind [Hack + Listen]

Take a good, long look at your computer screen. Now imagine you can’t see it. That’s the reality Mandy Matz is facing. At age 36, she’s losing her vision to glaucoma. The musician and multimedia artist makes some beautiful, ethereal music, having cut her teeth on Buzz. Listen to the haunting “Alpha Waves,” her first […]