Roland's new augmented reality service lets you place a grand piano in your bathroom

Roland PIano AR
(Image credit: Roland)

You imagine it and Roland's new Piano AR service will place it. Just scan a QR code and try a virtual piano out in any room in your house. 

Buying a large piano is a risky business. For one thing, they generally cost a fortune, but then there’s the matter of getting the instrument into your house and perhaps finding out you’ve made a terrible mistake. Maybe said piano doesn’t fit in the room or maybe it doesn't match your curtains. 

A large piano, therefore, is not a purchase you take (or lift) lightly. Roland knows this so is making it slightly easier by introducing Piano AR, an augmented reality service that enables you to see a range of its pianos in situ. A kind of ‘try before you buy’ if you like. Or maybe ‘see before you buy’.

The Piano AR service utilises the LIDAR – that’s Light Detection and Ranging – technology that is found in most mobile phones, which enables users to scan their surroundings. You then use your phone to effectively pick up a piano from the Roland range and place it into the scanned environment.

Roland AR is browser-based so you don’t need an additional app to use it. Just scan the QR code and your phone will do the rest, placing the piano model in whatever room you like. 

Roland says: “Customers can virtually walk around detailed, to-scale models with dynamic lighting and reflections, providing an unparalleled understanding of the instrument's presence in their space. Consumers can interact with instruments in a new fun and engaging way."

Roland Piano AR

(Image credit: Roland)

So far the service works with the latest Roland GP Series of grand pianos as well as the LX uprights and FP digital pianos. Piano AR is the latest in a series of hi-tech Roland digital piano innovations - the GP series of grands, for example, already utilises an app so that users can remotely tailor their piano sounds. 

Piano AR is free, and while not exactly 'fun', it does work pretty well. We've tried it and  are tempted with an LX for the spare room, but it still leaves us with the very first-world question of 'how on earth do you get a grand piano through your front door?' Answers on a postcard to the usual address (or do what Howard Jones did and get a crane to lift it over your house). 

There are more details about PIano AR at the Roland website

Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.

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