“Wearable technology” is a term that’s been banded around in the consumer electronics world for a while now, but should MI retailers be keeping an eye on this fast-moving market?
Fitness trackers are probably the first thing that springs to mind when most hear the words “wearable technology”. While running has become a trendy pastime, the demand for wearing a band around your wrist or arm to track exactly how far you’ve run and how many calories you’ve burnt – amongst a variety of other stats – has skyrocketed.
One firm has already taken the idea of a band or tacker and created a device designed specifically for musicians.
The Soundbrenner Pulse (pictured) is a metronome that can be worn on the arm or leg. Its purpose is to help musicians stick to a rhythm and stay in time.
The device lets users experience vibrations 7 times stronger than the average smartphone, removing annoying audio clicks and freeing up your ears for the music alone. It can be worn anyway you want: wrist, ankle, arm, and with the body strap, on the chest or back.
The battery lasts up to five hours and it can be controlled through a dedicated app available on both Android and iOS. The device also includes a built-in music coach that learns the musician’s behaviours and motivates them to practice and work on musical aspects such as speed and endurance.
Another MI wearable tech product comes from musician Imogen Heap, who has created her own smart Wi-Fi connected glove. The Mi.Mu senses the movement, position, direction and shape of a hand in order to control and create music.
The high-tech gloves, which cost £1,200 each (or £2,400 for a pair), are designed to be used alongside traditional instruments on stage, with cut-off fingertips to allow the playing of other instruments and cut-out palms so handclaps won’t be muted.
There are also products like the DrumPants, which act as a mini electronic drum kit that you attach to the trousers of your choosing. It has six Bluetooth enabled wearable drum triggers and the wear can control over 300 music and MIDI/OSC apps. You can wear DrumPants under or over your clothing, anywhere on your body, and even in your shoes.
Research from tech IT analyst IDC predicts that wearable tech shipments will reach 213.6 million units worldwide by 2020. With the growing trend of Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects, we’re likely to see more of these music/tech fusions come into the market.
So, will you be stocking wearable tech for musicians in the near future?
MI Focus will be posting a full review of the Soundbrenner Pulse in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back to find out more about this interesting piece of kit.
Subscribe to the free MI Focus newsletter to get more stories like this sent straight to your inbox.