If you love to sing, here’s something new for you! – a pair of musical gloves that can sing a duet with you. Scientists designed the gloves which manipulate computerised sound to mimic the human voice. Hand gestures replicate the movements of real vocal chords, allowing the gloves to produce a complex range of sounds, said Sidney Fels, a researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, who led their development.
But there’s one problem, Fels says it takes about 100 hours to learn how to play them. Here’s how it works:
The right-hand glove contains motion sensors that detect the opening and closing of the wearer’s hand. An open hand mimics the opening of the vocal tract, producing vowels, while a closed hand constricts the vocal tract to produce consonant sounds such as “sh” and “zz”.
Buttons on the left-hand glove activate stop consonants like “p” and “b”, normally produced by a sudden release of built-up pressure, which is difficult to simulate using the right-hand vocal tract controls.
A set of 3D position sensors on the right-hand glove locates the wearer’s hand in space, with different areas affecting pitch. A foot pedal controls volume.