The Gloved One: Tech Researchers Hone Fingertip Musicianship | News
ATLANTA -- Tanya Markow is a Georgia Tech researcher who has mastered a gizmo called the music mobile touch glove.
The glove is equipped with tiny vibrating motors in each finger, with the goal of teaching the glove wearer to play, in this case, the first 15 notes of Beethoven's Ode to Joy.
"We've discovered that when people put the glove on, first of all, they're hearing the music. Second they're feeling which finger to use to press the appropriate key on the keyboard," said Markow, a Tech doctorate student and US Army Major.
The glove is for those too busy or impatient to actually learn to play music. The buzzing fingers on the glove provide passive muscle memory. Markow says the glove wearer can learn basic music while doing other chores.
Within minutes, "They can recall the song from that muscle memory that they're gaining from their fingers that they tapped while they're doing other activities," said Markow, who flies Apache helicopters in the Army.
The mastermind behind the music mobile touch glove is Thad Starner, a Georgia Tech associate professor who developed and happens to wear a mobile computer.
"It was just completely unexpected that something like this would actually work," said Starner. He gave a test subject about 20 minutes with the glove, then fired up a Casio keyboard.
After a few missteps, the subject somewhat mastered the 15-note intro to Ode to Joy.
Starner says the gizmo has great potential for more than the lazy aspiring musician. He hopes to eventually use it to help rehabilitate paralysis patients.
"The rehab stuff is actually more exciting than the learning stuff," said Starner, making this more than a one-note breakthrough.