Tuesday, December 17, 2013

HackMe Vectr Open Source 3D Sensing Gesture Controller

Now here's a cool new Kickstarter project;
The Vectr Open Source 3D Sensing Gesture Controller is a nice new way of controlling your modular Eurorack synthesizer.

HackMe Vectr Gesture Controller prototype
It's like a cross between the Korg KaosPad and some kind of (Roland) D-Beam interface (or theremin) that can control sound and effects via hand movements interacting (measuring the distance) with an infrared beam of light.
They hope to fit it all on a 32 HP panel (the prototype size is 36 HP wide).

" The Hackme Vectr is an entirely new and unique way to interact with a modular synthesizer.
Vectr is a three dimensional control interface designed for Eurorack modular system.
It senses the location of a hand over its face and outputs a signal proportional to position for each axis: x (left and right), y (up and down), and z (in and out).
So, you can control three things at one time, like turning three knobs all at once by moving your hand through the air.

HackMe Vectr Gesture Controller prototype
The possibilities are truly infinite. You could control the amplitude of a sound with the x axis, the pitch with the y axis, and the modulation of that sound with the z axis.
By moving your hand slowly over the surface, you can create subtly evolving, changing and dramatic sounds. With quick movements, you can generate bursts of dynamic audio.

To provide feedback, Vectr has LEDs ringing its active sensing area.
These LEDs light up according to the location of your hand.
It lights red for the z axis and blue for the x and y axis.
As you get closer to the surface, the red LEDs get brighter.
As you move closer to a location on the x-y axis, the blue LEDs in that region get brighter and those farther away get dimmer.
This makes Vectr visually stunning, brilliant for live play and, excellent for dark spaces.

HackMe Vectr Gesture Controller pad
Vectr can also recognize a number of simple gestures.
It recognizes swiping gestures as well as circular motions over its surface.
These gestures can be used as trigger outputs and for interacting with the built-in looping feature.
Vectr provides a menu system that uses gestures to change the system behavior.
Vectr can record up to 30 seconds of position and gesture data for looping playback.
Simply press the large illuminated switch to start the loop and release it to end it.
The loop plays back immediately and can be retriggered with swipe gestures or by external signals from a module with trigger outputs.
Vectr records as long as the switch is held down, so long rhythmic sequences can be recorded by moving a hand in an out of the active area.

HackMe Vectr Gesture Controller prototype
The loop switch can also be used as a sample and hold control.
When pressed quickly, it freezes the hand position to lock in the output.
The loop playback can be sped up or slowed by using circular gestures, clockwise for faster, counter-clockwise for slower.
The loop recording can also be triggered externally.
One pulse starts the recording and the next pulse ends it. Using external triggers to start and stop recording as well as to synchronize the playback, you can make perfectly synchronized loops.

Vectr is entirely open source. All aspects of the design will be released under cc-nc-sa 2.0 license. There will be a USB connector on the back of the device. This will allow anyone to program and reprogram Vectr to suit their purposes. Want to use it to fly drones? Make a lighting controller? Make your robot dance? Go for it."

The HackMe Vectr is a Kickstarter project, with the controller available to early supporters for 299 USD

Video: Control audio with movements and gestures in free space


Detailed Features:
Resolution: 16 bit Sensing and 16 bit Digital to Analog Conversion

Outputs:
X Position - 0-8VDC corresponding to hand position
Y Position - 0-8VDC corresponding to hand position
Z Position - 0-8VDC corresponding to hand position
Left-Right Swipe Gesture Trigger - 0-5VDC alternates with each gesture
Up-Down Swipe Gesture Trigger - 0-5VDC alternates with each gesture
Gate - 0V when no hand is present, 5VDC when a hand is present

Inputs:
X Gate - 0V turns off X Position
Y Gate - 0V turns off Y Position
Z Gate - 0V turns off Z Position
Loop Sync - Retriggers the loop during playback, start and end loop during record mode

Switch:
Loop switch - High quality feel illuminated switch for controlling the looping feature

Power Supply:
+/-12V, digital voltages internally regulated

More info at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/790206393/theremax-3d-gesture-controller