If Hands Could Sing

If Hands Could Sing

School of Music | Faculty of Arts
Share Story Related Content Add to my report

While many people talk with their hands, so to speak, a team of UBC professors has now made it possible to talk—or rather, sing—through a pair of gloves.

Developed by a team led by Sidney Fels, in the department of electrical and computer engineering and Robert Pritchard, a researcher at the UBC Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) and the UBC Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC), the technology, called a digital ventriloquist actor (DIVA), produces a singing voice when manually activated by a hand moving within electrically wired gloves. The motion-sensing gloves create a frequency based on their position; the right hand controls vowels (an open hand), and consonants (a closed hand), while the height of the hand determines the pitch. Meanwhile, the left hand controls stop consonants like Bs and Ds.

“From a compositional perspective, what I’m interested in is expanding the tools available to provide an emotional experience in the concert hall,” says Pritchard, in an interview with Gizmodo. “We’re able to give one person two voices. So they can do a duet with themselves.”

Future uses for the device could involve giving people with speech impairments the ability to speak without sign language or an interpreter.

 

Related Content

Sidney Fels (left) and Bob Pritchard (center) testing the DIVA Harness Credit: Johnty Wang

“We’re able to give one person two voices. So they can do a duet with themselves.” – Robert Pritchard, UBC Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) and UBC Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre

Associated Commitment

Research Excellence

Associated Campus

Vancouver Campus

Twitter

RT @rmfaris: A wonderful production @lesdala and a joy to see/hear! Congrats to the entire team!!! #UBCOpera #UBCMusic #YVRArts https://t.c…
2 days ago.
Start your Friday with beautiful music! Here are @UBC Music's @jcfranchb, clarinet, and Terence Dawson, piano, perf… https://t.co/YGS31DwLdQ
3 days ago.
"There once was a western black rhino..." On Nov. 22, @UBC Bands invites you to "The Automatic Earth: Concert for… https://t.co/jbLpUjCv9r
4 days ago.
The reviews are in! Critics love the new @UBCOpera production of “Tales of Hoffmann,” featuring @LesDala and the… https://t.co/ruSsj8yuNB
5 days ago.
Today, 12 pm at Barnett Hall: Join pianists Michelle Mares & Mark Anderson for "Themes & Variations for 2 Pianos" —… https://t.co/9ZH94MZJ2P
5 days ago.
On Nov. 12th, join world-renowned pianist @JonKimuraParker & cellist Desmond Hoebig for a very special performance… https://t.co/5F1MAGWjqy
5 days ago.
Meet the villains of Tales of Hoffmann, the new @UBCOpera production of the Offenbach classic! Get your tickets for… https://t.co/wIm59WvYre
6 days ago.
We're very excited about the 2019-20 @UBCPrez Concert Series, kicking off Nov. 12th at @ChanCentre with the always… https://t.co/pLuNDsCgs8
6 days ago.
Interested in studying Strings at the @UBC School of Music? Over on the Admissions Blog, learn all about our world-… https://t.co/6Gh7GrEsr4
7 days ago.
RT @MarinaThibeault: Friday at noon, I will be speaking at @UBC_Music and share my positive experience with Sport Psychology. Come and disc…
7 days ago.