GripBeats is an innovative, motion-sensing, wireless Bluetooth MIDI controller that you can wear on your wrist, or position it any way you want. While it’s not the first gadget that can be worn in this fashion, it does come with some interesting new ideas, including a strap with 32 pressure-sensitive touch sensors. The GripBeats Kickstarter campaign has launched today, and there are still some early bird specials available.
GripBeats wearable instrument
GripBeats is a collaborative effort by musicians from the Royal Academy of Music in London and hardware engineers from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Over the course of three years, they developed several prototypes, designed their own electronics and touch sensors, and ultimately came up with the current design.
GripBeats is a wireless Bluetooth MIDI controller that can be used with countless MIDI apps. It consists of a watch-like enclosure which houses a 9-axis motion sensor, and an additional strap with 32 pressure-sensitive touch sensors. There’s also an LED ring for visual feedback and lighting effects. You can wear and use GripBeats in a variety of ways. In Wrist Mode, it’s essentially a motion-sensing bracelet, and also a cool fashion accessory, as the makers claim. Wrap the strap around your hand in Grip Mode, and you can interact with the touch sensors with your fingers and palm. Finally, it is of course possible to lay GripBeats flat on a surface in Surface Mode. This lets you play the touch sensors much like a keyboard or ribbon controller.
As it uses MIDI BLE, GripBeats is capable of controlling pretty much anything that can be controlled via MIDI. You can use it to make beats and play synths, play air drums, enhance your body percussion performance with samples, control your DAW and effects, record parameter automation, or just about anything else you can think of. The configuration will be handled by an app for iOS and Android. The app will also let you assign sounds to gestures, so you can use GripBeats as a stand-alone instrument. Like other wearable controllers like the Wave, T8, Leviathan or Mictic, GripBeats looks like an awesome way to add some action to electronic live shows, DJ sets, or even impromptu street performances. And who knows, maybe it could even replace your Chest Hair Bra Beat!
The GripBeats campaign on Kickstarter has launched today. The developers are asking for USD 10,000 to finance production of the wearable gadget. The campaign seems to be off to a good start. There are still some super early bird specials for USD 99 available.