Rock on with an Air Guitar T-Shirt

Nov. 22, 2006
Picture this: you are listening to Jimmy Page's solo on Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven and playing along with your imaginary guitar.

Julie Kalista
Online Editor

Dr. Richard Helmer demonstrates how to use the air guitar t-shirt.
All of the sudden, music starts coming from your air guitar, thanks to a team of researchers at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and their wearable instrument shirt (WIS). It lets wearers play a virtual guitar by moving one arm to pick chords and the other to strum imaginary strings.

The air guitar consists of a wearable sensor in a conventional shirt that uses software to map gestures with audio samples. The WIS recognizes and interprets arm movements, wirelessly relaying them to a computer that generates audio. Textile motion sensors embedded in the shirt sleeves detect motion when the user's arm bends.

And don't worry if you are no Jimmy Page, according to Dr. Helmer, "It's an easy-to-use, virtual instrument that allows real-time music making — even by players without significant musical or computing skills. It allows you to jump around and the sound generated is just like an original mp3."

More Information:
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

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