One of the lesser known events at SynthFest in Sheffield was the world wide debut of Behringer’s augmented reality interface for the Deep Mind 12. I was there, chatting with the Midas engineers behind the technology and I gathered that it was something they were trying out – a bit of a work in progress. However, they’ve now released a video of people trying it out and giving their responses. It sounds like it was a much bigger deal than I thought!
Deep Mind 12 and HoloLens
The thing the users are wearing on their heads is the Microsoft HoloLens. It’s a self contained augmented reality (AR) computer which requires no tether or cabling like VR often does. Over the eyes are transparent goggles that throw out holographic images into real space. So you can see your environment around you, but with brightly animated and interactive objects in there with you.
What they’ve tried to do is pull out the synthesis engine of the Deep Mind 12 and put it into an AR space. So rather than fiddling with a tiny screen you can see parameters, envelopes and the modulation matrix as a huge interactable object hanging in the air. They’ve kind of thrown everything at it trying to find something that really works. There’s a virtual keyboard, there’s dots that appear on the actual keyboard, there’s modulation editing, parameter display, and a sort of laser harp thing. All quite fascinating really.
I’ve seen many HoloLens demos and nothing really seems to grab my imagination as a killer application. I’ve also used one at a Microsoft party last year. I was very drunk, and it was all about trying to shoot aliens. The HoloLens itself was uncomfortable and heavy to wear, particularly as I’m a glasses wearer. The field of view is also very narrow but for the Deep Mind 12 application that’s less of a problem. In fact tying HoloLens to a physical piece of hardware and being able to expand upon that hardware with the AR is a perfect application for this sort of technology.
For a full report on the SynthFest show click here.
Anyway, the video is really interesting. Is this the future or is it so much arm ache?