Reading Assignment: Augmented Piano in Augmented Reality

Giovanni Santini. 2020. Augmented Piano in Augmented Reality. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Birmingham City University, pp. 411–415.

The article is about different augmented interfaces to enhance playing the piano with the help of AR. The described interfaces are more experimental to show different approaches and are not intended for the masses, but for composers. 

What I found not too practical is the handling, because you always need one hand for the interaction and can’t continue playing the piano in the meantime: the first example they showed was a virtual music sheet, where you still have to move your hand to turn the page and – so no real advantage. Or objects arranged around the piano, which you can trigger with your hand for additional sounds and modification.

Another example they gave is to visualize the music while you play. I find the idea beautiful because you can get lost in the “world” of the song and everything around you can literally be faded out. In their example, they had water floating above the keyboard. It is more meant for the audience’s point of view. For the player, it would be cool to have haptic feedback, like with the STRATOS-Inspire form Ultra-leap. The player could feel a cool sensation every time his hand goes through the water surface.

I found the interfaces mentioned exciting because it shows innovative ways in which direction it could go. What makes them useful, is that you can easily adapt them with low effort. And if well-made the learning curve is easy because the interface indicates how to use it.

It was difficult to understand how the interfaces work only by the text, but this link to example videos was really useful:

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