In your shower, during karaoke, in your car, at a Rush concert, these are all places you’ve probably played air guitar before. We recently asked ourselves how we could take such a classic cultural phenomenon and bring it into 2016. Our answer? Make it real.
How, you ask? We created an iPhone app that pairs with a small hand-held device that allows you to trigger custom sounds with each flick of the wrist.
We prototyped this IRL air guitar on a LightBlue Bean, one of our favorite microcontrollers (which comes with on board BTLE). The device pairs perfectly with the iOS platform — it has a straightforward API that makes it easy to get up and running (you may remember it from Dorothy). The device checks for a burst of acceleration and specific position on the X, Y, and Z axis. When the requirements are hit, the Bean sends a bluetooth serial message to the iPhone, indicating that a gesture was triggered.
On the iPhone app users can currently pick between drum or guitar mode. Guitar mode looks for a strumming motion, while drum mode checks for the user to bang the device like a drum stick. In each case, changing the mode on the app also changes the sound that is output.
In the future we are hoping to include more sounds, everything from full drum kits to pan flutes to your favorite sound effects. That, and of course designing a sweet guitar pick enclosure you can keep in your pocket.