The original design of the violin is a classic, but that hasn’t stopped people from trying to improve upon it with modern tech.

While it looks mostly like an ordinary bow, the Hyperbow is designed to electronically measure gestures and calculate force, speed, and bow-bridge distance, thanks to accelerometers, gyroscopes, and force sensors. The bow, designed by MIT Media Lab Ph.D. candidate Diana Young, began as a way to measure different bowing techniques. But combined with MIT’s Hyperviolin, the all-electronic/non-acoustic violin also developed by the MIT Media Lab, the bow can unleash new means of making music with violins. If you’ve seen this before, it’s because Young has been working on it for several years and presenting it as it develops; the Hyperviolin for its part has been played by the likes of Joshua Bell. Here, Diana Young is pictured with Hyperbow and Hyperviolin from earlier this summer. (Photo: Donna Coveney, MIT News.)

Grad student’s Hyperbow makes music to measure [MIT News]
ASA paper abstract [Acoustical Society of America]
Video and audio clips, Toy Symphony (Featuring Hyperviolin)

So, what do you think? Innovation or reinventing the … um …. bow?