HackSpace magazine

Knitted keyboard

By Ben Everard. Posted

We (at least, we in the West) have been using the twelve-note musical scale for hundreds of years.

You might imagine that all the ideas have been had and we’re just recycling things by now, and in a way, you’re right: chart music is rubbish. However, we’re constantly innovating when it comes to input devices. This knitted keyboard from MIT is a great example of that innovation. It uses a combination of functional (conductive fibres and thermoplastic) and structural (polyester) fibres to give musicians an interface that’s immediately tactile and familiar.

And while the piano found favour over the harpsichord because it responds to how hard you hit the keys, this device also features proximity sensing, so it can sense when you hover above the keys and knows what notes you’re about to play.


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