Sony's Motion Sonic wristband makes sound with a wave of your arm

Punching the air has never sounded so good.
Nathan Ingraham
N. Ingraham|03.14.17

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Sony's wild Wow Factory at SXSW uses the company's technology for a host of oddball immersive experiences. One of those, the Motion Sonic Project, was quite a bit less ambitious than putting four perspectives into one VR headset or strapping players into full-body video gaming experiences. But nonetheless, it was fun, and it's pretty easy to imagine how the technology could be used once it graduates from the prototype phase.

The core Motion Sonic Project is a wristband that you strap on like a watch. The prototype I saw wasn't terribly refined, but it's early days still, so I won't judge it for its bulky appearance. Once you put the device on, it hooks up to a tablet and speakers and starts producing sound in sync with your movements. Sony had five different demos, one of which had me punching the air as loud, booming noises came out of the speaker in sync with my flailing arm. Another had me tapping my body to produce xylophone-esque sounds. And, of course, I did the robot.

The demo was frivolous and fun, but the idea of moving your body to manipulate audio isn't a new one. Any improved tech to make that more precise and engaging is worth keeping an eye on: A new way to manipulate music you're playing by moving parts of your body could lead to some weird but cool new sounds.

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