Blockchain pioneer Heap is to lend her support in an advisory role to Viberate, which is using the distributed ledger technology to connect the global live music industry
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Grammy winner and music tech pioneer Imogen Heap has announced the release of newly designed Mi.Mu gloves, allowing artists to map hand gestures to music software
By Anna Grace on 25 Apr 2019
British music tech company Mi.Mu, founded by Grammy award-winning artist Imogen Heap, has announced the launch of its newly designed Mi.Mu gloves, signalling a step forward in gestural performance technology.
The second iteration of the gloves, which turn hand gestures into music, aims to appeal to a much broader audience with improved user friendliness and affordability. The new design offers improved build quality, stronger wireless communication and more accurate gesture control.
Musical artist and tech innovator Imogen Heap founded Mi.Mu in 2010, in collaboration with a team of specialist musicians, artists, scientists and technologists. The company was borne out of a desire to use the movement of the human body to “free performers from the typical musical setup of knobs, buttons and sliders.”
Mi.Mu gloves allow artists to control their musical performances without the need for wires or other equipment. Through Mi.Mu ‘Glover’ software, performers can map gestures to music software such as Ableton Live or Logic Pro, using artificial intelligence to mix and customise gestures into “near-limitless” combinations.
The gloves have a six-hour battery life and use low-latency wifi communication.
“We are hugely proud to release the Mi.Mu gloves to musicians everywhere, and we can’t wait to see what they do with them,” says Mi.Mu managing director Adam Stark.
“The gloves are the result of years of research and development into new ways to compose and perform music”
“The gloves are the result of years of research and development into new ways to compose and perform music. We believe the gloves will enable musicians to discover new forms of expression, leading to new ideas, new performances and, ultimately, new forms of music,” adds Stark.
The first edition of the Mi.Mu gloves became publicly available in 2014, with performers from classical pianists, to film composers, to beatboxers making use of the gloves’ potential. Ariana Grande used the gloves on her 2015 world tour.
Heap is currently showcasing the gloves on her Mycelia world tour.
“[I am] so happy that we are finally able to extend the incredible superhuman feeling of having music in our hands out to a wider audience,” comments Heap. “You just have to remember to open your eyes during a performance, as it becomes so second nature!”
One of the earliest adopters of blockchain technology in music, Heap serves in an advisory role at cryptocurrency-powered live music marketplace Viberate.
Heap is also the mastermind behind the Creative Passports project, a digital database of all verified profile information for music makers. The passport uses blockchain to enable easy payments between creators and aims to create a digital identity standard for the music industry.
The new gloves are available to pre-order from now via the MI.MU website, priced at £2,500 a pair, with general sale beginning from 1 July.