PianoTouch: A Haptic Interface for Learning Music

Researchers at Georgia Tech University have created a haptic interface that augments the experience of learning to play the piano.

We present PianoTouch, a wearable, wireless haptic piano instruction system, composed of (1) five small vibration motors, one for each finger, fitted inside a glove, (2) Bluetooth module mounted on the glove, and (3) piano music output from a laptop. With this system, users hear the piano music, and feel t he vibrations indicating which finger is used to play the note. In this paper, we investigate the system’s potential for passive learning, i.e. learning piano playing automatically, while engaged in everyday activities. In a preliminary study, subjects learned two songs initially, and then wore the PianoTouch glove for 30 minutes while listening to the songs repeated. One of the songs included tactile sensations and the other did not. The study found that after 30 minutes, the PianoTouch subjects were able to play the song accompanied by tactile sensations better than the n on- tactile song.

Huang, K., Do, E. L., & Starner, T. (2008, September). PianoTouch: A wearable haptic piano instruction system for passive learning of piano skills. In Wearable Computers, 2008. ISWC 2008. 12th IEEE International Symposium on (pp. 41-44). IEEE.

Author: Shantanu Bala

Shantanu Bala graduated from Arizona State University in 2014 with a double B.S. in Computer Science and Psychology.

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