Anyone can sway to the rhythm of a catchy tune. But what if you could translate your body movements into actual music? That’s the idea behind Machina’s “MJ v1.0,” the world’s first jacket to combine a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) controller with flexible motion sensors to operate multiple digital music instruments, computers, and other devices simultaneously. It’s even designed to be hackable. The Mexico-based technology firm is working on a “hackstore” that will allow users to upload their own presets. Ultimately, you’ll be able to make the jacket do whatever you want: engineer beats, mix video, even play games. Forget learning the guitar—this is the future of making music.
The MJ v1.0 isn’t just outerwear, it’s also a sophisticated piece of equipment. Inspired by and modeled after an LED light, the garment features four flexible membrane potentiometers that monitor your finger’s position, an accelerometer on the sleeve to detect your arm’s acceleration, a joystick, and four pushbuttons. The jacket is currently so complex, in fact, that it be only be made by hand by a master tailor.
The MJ v1.0 isn’t just outerwear, it’s also a sophisticated piece of equipment.
“The sensors are invisible except for placeholders,” says Machina. “We want integration to be complete, and that’s why we’re working so hard in making sure that, while the sensors are there, they do not affect the look and feel of the jacket. The jacket looks like a regular jacket, and it can be worn under any condition.”
Above all, the jacket is a platform, one that can be programmed for additional functionalities. Machina plans to release a mobile application for iOS and Android so users can interact with the MJ v1.0 in a simple way. All of the company’s code will be available freely, complete with libraries to make customizing the product a cinch.
We’re dizzy with the possibilities.