Mobile Music Touch

Mobile Music Touch (formally Piano Touch)

The loss of functionality of the hands can severely interrupt a person’s life, and hand rehabilitation can be a long, arduous process. In fact, many patients find certain traditional therapy exercises, such as squeezing an object for several hours a day, or other simple strengthening exercises, monotonous and un-motivating. Thus we propose the Mobile Music Touch (MMT) system as an engaging, pervasive hand rehabilitation aid. MMT consists of a wireless tactile glove, with a vibration motor for each finger, and a lightweight computing device such as an MP3 player or a smart phone. When instrumental music is played (such as piano or saxophone), the tactile glove vibrates the fingers to indicate which fingers play which notes. Thus with MMT, users can hear a song and feel it playing on their hands. The MMT system can augment the stimulation of the afferent (sensory) nerves, motivate patients to use their hands in a fun way, and teach them the enjoyable and relaxing skill of playing an instrument, which may further motivate long term hand use.



Kevin Huang, Ellen Yi-Luen Do, Thad Starner (with special thanks to help from Debbie Backus @ Shepherd Center for advice)


Project started in Jan, 2008, in Ellen’s [ Creativity and Design Cognition] class – see Kevin’s original proposal for the class project [ feel the music ppt]

== Publication:==

pdf access (wiki/carmen)

2010 “Mobile music touch: mobile tactile stimulation for passive learning”, Kevin Huang, Thad Starner, Ellen Do, Gil Weiberg, Daniel Kohlsdorf, Claas Ahlrichs, Ruediger Leibrandt, in CHI ’10 Proceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems [ doi>10.1145/1753326.1753443] 791-800 [ pdf] – or [[media:791-huang.pdf]]

2008 “PianoTouch: A Wearable Haptic Piano Instruction System For Passive Learning of Piano Skills,” Kevin Huang, Ellen Yi-Luen Do, Thad Starner, in ISWC 2008, 12th IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers,, pp 41-44, Sep 28 – Oct 1, Pittsburgh, Pennsylavania
( – [ pdf] or [[media:Piano-touch.pdf]]

2008 “SmartHands – a multi-modal haptic piano teaching system,” Kevin Huang and Ellen Yi-Luen Do, in DCC 08 (Design Computing and Cognition), June 22-26, Atlanta,, Poster Proceedings Vol. II. pp. 13-14 [ pdf] or [[media: SmartHands.pdf]]


== In the News ==

* on the GeekieGadegets [ Mobile Music Touch: Play Piano On The Go] Dec 2, 2009

* in Atlanta stringer for Associated Press [,0,322418.story Feel the rhythm yet? Piano Touch teaches notes through tiny jolts in Chicago Tribune Web] Feb 11, 2009

* in GizmoDiva [ "Mobile Music Touch" glove for the aspiring pianists] Feb 11, 2009

* in the Information Technology section of the Chronicle of Higher Education article [ Composers and Computers Work in Harmony at Georgia Tech's Music Center], by Eric Kelderman, Jan 30, 2009 issue.

* [ Reinventing the Way People Learn to Play the Piano] November 7, 2008

* [ Reinventing the Way People Learn to Play the Piano] Free Nov 7, 2008

* [ MMT] in Digital Lounge – Georgia Tech

* [ webtech] Nov 9, 2008

* [ Whilstle archive] Nov 10, 2008

* [ mumbaimirro] No 23, 2008


[ A vibrating hand for the pianist, please]

USA Today – February 11, 2009 (AP, NPR, Forbes, Fox, MSNBC Washington Post and over 90 other hits)

Georgia Tech researchers are trying to reinvent how students learn to play the piano by developing a glove that vibrates to cue a budding musician which finger needs to be played at a given moment. The goal is to fuse music with muscle memory to teach pianists their craft.

“You can literally feel the notes,” said Kevin Huang, the Georgia Tech graduate student who came up with the idea. His early design is basically a golf glove powered by a battery that’s hooked into five vibrating motors. The glove has a wireless link to a PC, and sends a tiny jolt through the motors to prompt each suggested tap of a piano key.

Note -

* After Kevin left Georgia Tech and joined the HCII PhD program at Carnegie Mellon University, Tanya Markow and others have continued on the Mobile Music Touch Project.

* Here is a page by Narayanan Ramakrishnan [ doc]

* “Mobile Music Touch: Vibration stimulus in hand rehabilitation” Markow, T.; Ramakrishnan, N.; Huang, K.; Starner, T.; Eicholtz, M.; Garrett, S.; Profita, H.; Scarlata, A.; Schooler, C.; Tarun, A.; Backus, D. in Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth), 2010, 22-25 March 2010, pp: 1 – 8 , [ abstract]

* Video about [ glove redesign] and user tests, Dec, 2009

Go to [ Tangible Music]

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