Sort of laser harp/ MIDI/ Synth/ Theremin 23/06/09
The University of Glamorgan have been in touch to tell us that a revolutionary new musical instrument has been designed by one of their product design students, Josh Ford.
The Octonic is an intuitive instrument that works with sensors which are activated when a hand is waved over them.
The original concept for the Octonic was conceived by Dr Ben Challis whose initial prototype was called the Benemin and focussed upon inclusivity for users with learning or physical disabilities. Josh answered a different brief that proposed using the Benemin technology to create a product that was aimed at the more mainstream electronic music market.
Originally from Wokingham, Josh has had a passion for music and design since childhood, so this project was the perfect opportunity to combine both. He said, "I was very keen to take the project on as I'm a big fan of electronic music. My approach to this task was to make using the technology as intuitive as possible but also to create a forum that was different to what has been done before."
The double cantilever design allows the instrument to be played in different modes to suit the individual user and it also physically splits the controls from the sensors making it easier to operate. The cantilevers emanate from a central cylindrical body which houses the speaker and circuitry it also houses the tactile feedback element although this aspect of the design was not fully realized through this prototype.
Josh who is due to graduate next month has already had some interest, he added, "My supervisor at the University of Glamorgan, Dr Richard Randall has been a big support. With his help and that of the University's Commercial Services Office, we were able to put a business case together for the Octonic and have already had some commercial interest."