IK Multimedia Premiers iRing – iOS Hand Motion Controller
All right, let’s just get this out there right off the bat…IK Multimedia has become one of the most impressive music technology companies on the planet. The rate of innovative, affordable technology that they are debuting practically every month is well, staggering. The Italian concern makes an upstart like Quirky appear as if they are stuck in the La Brea Tar Pits. Now, IK does have its detractors. In fact, FutureMusic has opened up a can of whoop ass on the company for its uninspired aesthetics on products such as the iRig MixItaly, the land of the Ferrari, the Lamborghini, the Ducati, the iRig Mix??. However, if you look at the breath of usable and value-added products they’ve released in 2013 alone, some slack must be granted. But we digress…
IK Multimedia has announced the iRing, the first motion-tracking controller for iOS music apps and more. Now musicians and others can control sound effects and other parameters of their favorite apps, in real time, using hand position. iRing utilizes a wearable ring with identifiable markers, the iOS device’s front-facing camera, and advanced computer vision with highly-optimized recognition algorithms, to determine the precise positioning of the ring markers, tracking their movements and position on the 3-dimensional space in front of the device. This system provides a low-cost solution and a motion-tracking device that is accurate and affordable to anyone.
The iRing controller is a lightweight, double-sided ring that the user wears between two fingers, comfortable enough to be worn while operating musical instruments or other traditional music controllers. Each ring features a linear dot pattern on one side and a triangular pattern on the other. The device camera picks up the positioning of the ring patterns and the apps convert that information into music commands for dedicated app or MIDI information, which any compatible music app can read. This means that a user can now operate up to six controllable music parameters in their preferred music apps with one or two hands gestures.
» Ring controller, in tandem with either of two included apps featuring advanced motion-tracking technology, allows remote control of iOS app and app parameters using hand gestures
» Includes two identical, two-pattern reversible rings, allowing for numerous control combinations and the control up to 6 effect parameters simultaneously with two hands
» Rings provide a universal fit
» Included iRing Music Maker app allows novices to make music using hand gestures
» Included iRing FX/Controller app lets musicians and DJs create custom MIDI control setups, plus add and control audio effects when used together with other music apps via Inter-App Audio or Audiobus
While there have been previous attempts to use a device camera to track hand positioning, they proved not to be reliable for real-world usage, due to the many variables involved in computer vision recognition and the available processing power of mobile devices. iRing solves these issues providing an accurate method for precision detection of hand position in a wide range of lighting conditions.
iRing includes two identical double-sided ring controllers, plus two free apps for music applications. The included iRing FX/Controller app targets skilled musicians and DJs, and converts the distance information from the rings into precise MIDI control information that can be configured by the user. This MIDI data can then be used by any compatible Core MIDI app running on the device, or even sent to a computer via Wi-Fi. Users can configure the app to control effects, filters, notes, patches and more.
The iRing FX/Controller app also doubles as a controllable audio effects processor with 16 powerful and creative effects including Delay, Stutter, Phazer, Flanger, Compression, Fuzzy, Reverb, AutoWah, Crush, Twist Up & Down, Brake, Spin and Tail. These effects can be creatively controlled by the iRing, and inserted into the device audio path for use with any music app that is Audiobus or Inter-App Audio compatible. (Awesome! —Ed.)
For Third Party Developers
iRing technology will also be incorporated into core IK Multimedia apps such as GrooveMaker, DJ Rig, AmpliTube, SampleTank, VocaLive and more, so DJs, guitarists, vocalists, bass players, producers, keyboardists and engineers will have a new level of control to deliver powerful and unique performances.
IK’s iRing will cost ONLY $24.99 / €19.99 and will be available in the next couple of months. The iRing comes in three colors (white, green and silver). iRing FX/Controller and iRing Music Maker apps will be available as free downloads from the App Store.