2.4SINK by Instruments of Things
BETTER SOUND 2020 | Category: 1. Product
“Dance the Music” describes the novel music tech product 2.4SINK which uses multiple high-precision motion sensors and unique algorithms to control electronic instruments via a performer’s or instrumentalist’s own movements. It bridges the gap between IoT technologies and musical instruments and opens up new levels of creativity and individuality.
Founded 2018 in Kiel, Germany, Instruments of Things aims to create new kinds of musical possibilities by fusing IoT technologies with electronic music instruments. Their first product 2.4SINK, a professional model released in February 2020, controls synthesizers by turning the entire body into the equivalent of a performer with six hands who can simultaneously change pitch, timber, attack, delay or any other attribute of an electronic instrument.
During our conception phase it became clear that a high level of intuitive control could be achieved by literally following a top down approach. Instead of focusing on detailed hand gestures, the whole body should itself become a virtuoso by using several sensors on head, hands, legs, etc simultaneously. The system should offer high precision (comparable to Theremin) and ultra-low latencies to make sure no delay impacts the performance. At the same time its interface should be easy to use and work out-of-the-box.
During the development, multiple prototypes were evaluated together with external beta testers to provide a high level of usability and flexibility for a wide range of uses.
2.4SINK reflects their needs and their feedback:
- The motion sensors offer 3D tilt angles and acceleration axes with a precision of 0.01 degrees and a latency under 10 milliseconds. -This has been achieved by using state-of-the-art sensor fusion based on accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer.
- In order to achieve incredibly low latency, we developed a custom transmission protocol supporting floating point numbers based on Bluetooth LE. -The receiver hardware 2.4SINK supports common transmission protocols (Open Sound Control, Bluetooth® MIDI, Ableton Link) to be compatible with devices and applications from other manufacturers. -In the near future, we will include sensor parameters such as Bluetooth 5.1 direction finding. We will pre-package a series of sensor and sound presets to make the product suitable for customers without any prior knowledge in sound design and music production, such as performance dancers.
- Future products will focus on the broader consumer market to allow hobbyists to make use of different sensors in combination with their software and hardware (e.g. digital audio workstations, mobile apps).
After the development phase, we launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised $25k. All pre-orders were shipped in February 2020, a half year after the campaign ended. Every beta-tester liked the product so much they purchased a production unit.
In our future: the knowledge acquired from the professional artists and technical designers will be used to improve our products’ usability and overall experience. Artists and musicians are trendsetters in a global growing market for electronic musical instruments. Our next stop is to expand into the broader consumer market to bring Instruments of Things’ technology to amateurs and professionals alike to express themselves uniquely through music and motion.