One of the first computational design projects I saw in my college career was the Mi.Mu Gloves designed by a team led by British musician Imogen Heap. This project introduced me to a new way of thinking about user input and interaction design that I have tried to explore with certain physical computing projects in my past few semesters here.

The gloves were originally designed by Heap to address her desire for a music creation tool that was more gestural and visually striking than a standard set of instruments and music making tools. She assembled a team of 8 engineers, fashion designers, musicians, and programmers to help her realize her vision, and over the course of 5 years they developed the first set of Mi.Mu Musical Data Gloves that Heap showed off at TED Global Edinburgh 2012. The gloves use an x-OSC I/O board in conjunction with 8 flex sensors and an IMU (an inertia and motion sensor) to convert human hand movements and gestures into MIDI or OSC messages which can be read by most music software.

This product really opens up concerts and musical performances to have better integrated visual aspects and also bring better music creation methods to disabled musicians and artists.

The project has come much further since I first saw it, with more artists and musicians exploring the medium and the gloves themselves being released for commercial purchase through their website