You've heard of pianists, flutists and organists, but have you heard of Thereminists? The title, originally applied to players of another hands-free instrument from the 1920s, has been repurposed for those who can manipulate invisible sounds in a 3D space called an Audio-Haptic Navigation Environment (AHNE). By tweaking a Kinect sensor and using the OpenNI framework and OSCeleton, researchers at the SOPI Research Group at Media Lab Helsinki were able to create an AHNE "proof concept" called "Tension." Outfitting a volunteer with sensor-laden gloves with a small vibration motor for haptic feedback, they were able to create "music" -- add a pinch of Pitbull, and you're looking at the world's next great mellow anthem. Check out the full music video after the break.

AHNE - Audio-Haptic Navigation Environment from SOPI research group on Vimeo.

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Audio-Haptic Navigation Environment makes music the hands-free way (video)