Video: Eye-tracking headgear lets people with disabilities play piano

(Courtesy of Fove)


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JAPAN — Hands and arms are now optional for playing the piano, thanks to new technology.

Fove, a Japanese company that makes an eye-tracking head mount display, teamed up with the University of Tsukuba’s Special Needs Education School for the Physically Challenged to create “Eye Play the Piano.” The project lets people play the piano by looking at notes through the headgear.

“The user blinks on the preferred panels within the interface to trigger the selected note, which is then conveyed to the connected piano via MIDI signal,” a statement on the Eye Play the Piano crowd funding page reads. “Furthermore, tilting down of the head plays the role of the piano pedal, which lengthens the selected note.”

A student from the University of Tsukuba used the headgear to accompany a school choir on Dec. 18. He practiced for four months before the Christmas concert, according to Fove.

The technology was also recently on display at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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Natalie Crofts

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