Over two years ago, an interesting instrument of sorts jumped on our radar called the Airpiano. At the time it was an interesting concept by Omer Yosher presented at the Berlin Design Festival that allowed you to play music just by moving your hands around in the air over a motion-sensing board. Now, the concept has finally become a commercial reality, with the first limited trial batch ready for order and newer video demos after the cut.
The Airpiano has 8 infrared proximity sensors that create up to 24 virtual keys and 8 virtual faders. Plus, 40 LEDs are embedded for easy orientation and visual feedback. The overall body is built from walnut wood and the lights and sensors sit below a dark red acrylic glass. The Airpiano itself doesn’t actually produce any sounds. It must be used in conjunction with the accompanying software, which allows you to program each key to trigger any sound, fader, or preset arrangement. Hence, the instrument must be connected to a computer via USB.
Although, the Airpiano isn’t something you can simply plug in and start playing away at, it will certainly make for a neat artistic performance once you get it all programmed up. The first limited offering is available now via their online order page, but will cost you €1,099 (about $1,607) if you live in Europe, and €1,149 (about $1,680) if you live elsewhere. But it does make me wonder whether any Kinect hacks out there already do the same thing?