The first time you played Guitar Hero (or Rock Band), you probably wished that someone would invent a real guitar that could teach you how to play in the same manner. Shortly afterward, the gTar was invented, that showed budding riff-makers how to shred thanks to a series of helpful LEDs embedded in the neck. All you had to do was place your fingers on the strings where the lights lit up and, hey presto, you were a rock god. Now, the company behind the gTar is back, and has taken the same idea, but applied it to a piano, in the form of Keys.
On the surface, Keys is just another 24-key portable MIDI controller for traveling musicians and DJs. What sets this hardware apart from the others, however, is that Keys has the same light-up keys that, when combined with the iPhone app, can teach you how to play. Even better is that gesture sensors baked into the hardware will let you control the hardware just by waving your hands in the air like you just don't care. For instance, if you wanted to play a higher or lower octave, you can just swipe left or right to do just that. DJs with a passion for showing off can even assign controls to those sensors to make the business of knob-twiddling look more exciting.
The hardware uses a magnetic connection technology that, the company claims, makes it easy to daisy chain multiple units together. In addition, since Keys uses CoreMIDI, it should work with pretty much every other music making app both for desktop and mobile devices that shares the standard. If that sounds good enough for you, then you can pre-order a unit for the early bird price of $88. As for us, we're already planning on buying four of these, hooking them all up to Synthesia and playing the world's most accurate game of Piano Hero.