Music Sensors/IoT

SoulPedal gives guitarists effects controls with a wireless insole

The Premise. The world of entertainment is an ever-changing industry, always looking for ways to make the audience feel that they’ve gotten the best show possible. One of the most popular ways that 21st century performers do that is by breaking that “fourth wall” and interacting with the audience. While much of this has relied on the front person (or lead singer), guitar players are now getting a shot at this. Why is this important? Because more interaction usually means an invite to return to a venue. And if the band has merchandise, it can also mean more sales.

The Product. SoulPedal lets guitar players have the technology of their wah wah pedal in wireless form. To make it even more convenient, it gets worn like an in soul inside the right shoe, with a “dummy” left one included for balance. Built in arch support and a total weight of three ounces help ensure comfort. A tap of the foot turns the pedal on, and when it’s time to change the sound, a bend of the knee, slight lean forward, or stop of the foot makes it happen.

The Pitch. The video for the $35,000 campaign gives just enough detail on how the product works to satisfy the curious, and plenty of clarity on how to use it. Seeing it in action among other users is a nice touch, and it appears very user friendly.

The Perks. There are nine tiers from which backers may choose. The $279 early bird special offers the complete product with an expected delivery of September 2014. There is a chance for a full refund on the price for the backer who wins the contest announced at the indiegogo campaign site.

The Potential. The wireless technology aspect for this product makes it an especially exciting development for guitar players. Lead singers who play the guitar will likely be especially appreciative of this particular item. If there is an interest in the upgrade kit, a Windows system will be required. It’s noteworthy that there is also a development in the works for keyboard players in connection to note/velocity parameters that would eventually be available through the upgrade kit.

Smartwatches/Bands Toys

Moff wristband uses gestures, sound effects to make any object a toy

editors-choiceThe Premise. When it comes to a child’s imagination, any number of common household items can become tools for adventure or props to act out any number of fantasies. For centuries, the imagination has been enough to entertain, but what if there were real-world stimulus to add to the excitement of play?

The Product. The Moff band is a wearable snap bracelet that children can put on when they play make-believe. By syncing up with the Moff app on a tablet or smartphone, different modes can be chosen to simulate specified wrist movements into real-life sound effects for laser guns, sword fights, air guitar, or sports equipment. With Bluetooth support, acceleration and gyro sensors, and powered by a watch battery, the Moff is easy to put on and begin playing with immediately. For the time being, Moff only works with the five most recent generations of iOS devices, but Android compatibility is in the works.

The Pitch.  Moff CEO Akinori Takahagi introduces the Moff in a gentle, playful video that combines hand-drawn animation to represent the imagination and live play to demonstrate what the Moff is capable of. The entire presentation of all Moff’s campaign, from videos to pictures and even the app itself, is generally friendly and easy for children to understand and use as well. Moff is looking for $20,000 to get Bluetooth certification, finish tooling and bulk order the device’s internal components.

The Perks. A $45 pledge is required to get a Moff band for any child or child at heart. All products are expected to ship in July 2014.

The Potential. The Moff band is something that children should be very excited about, helping them bring their imagination into the real world. Having to be tethered to an app on a mobile device hampers the usability somewhat, as children will probably either still want to have a phone nearby to change settings or will be continually pestering parents to change the settings repeatedly. The novelty of these sound effects will be something that enraptures younger users, while those already attending grade school might look elsewhere for something more substantial. Still, children will love the idea of enhancing their play without having to break the action for sound effects.