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AirPiano controller explained and played

Hands off: the AirPiano relies on infrared sensors.
Hands off: the AirPiano relies on infrared sensors.

Back in 1998, MusicRadar reported on the AirPiano, a new concept controller that could be played without being touched.

Having heard nothing about it since, we foolishly assumed that the idea had been kicked into the long grass, but far from it. The first AirPiano prototype was given to UK artist Jo Hamilton late last year, and she's been getting to know the instrument and making music with it.

You can see what she's been up to in the video above. A longer clip, which features more performance footage, is below.

The AirPiano was originally developed by interface design student Omer Yosha in Berlin and uses an invisible matrix of controls. He says that we can expect "a brand new design with new features in a product that will soon be available," so it seems that the current prototype may be just a starting point.

Ben Rogerson
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology.