Microsoft Music Box is a Kinect- and Surface-powered keyboard experience that is installed at L.A. LIVE Plaza, next to the venue for the Grammys. In this project, Kinect uses skeletal tracking to interpret a person’s body movements on a three-dimensional grid and then it translates those movements using open-source software that is custom written into music.
“Everyone has an emotional and a powerful connection to music, but it’s a pretty hard thing to pick up and learn,” says Ross Clugston, design director at Interbrand, which worked with Microsoft and technology partner YesYesNo on the project. “But the joy that comes from creating music … everyone should have access to a way of creating and doing that.”
There are three different music modes : Percussion; a more traditional orchestra sound and music with a kind of “synth, futuristic feel. Based on your body movement, you can create a really beautiful, emotional piece of music based on your personal mood and expression.
Here’s how it works:
In the tented Microsoft Music Box, as soon as a person steps onto one of the “keyboards” shown from a projector situated on the roof of the tent, Kinect starts tracking their movements. Using software and coding done by YesYesNo, and powered by Surface, the projection and speakers transform the user’s body movements into an array of sounds and images, which evolve as they continue to move.
If you are in LA, you can try Microsoft Music Box by yourself from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Read more about it here.