Apps & Mobile

Into The Future: Controlling Music Devices With Hand Gestures Vs. Wearable Tech

BrainwaveSo much of the future of music, especially in the aesthetic wake of the 20th Century, is about how new technologies will affect our experience of music. One example, that of Brainwave, involves enabling simple control of your mobile music with hand gestures as an early step in wireless human/machine interaction. Another example, that of iHeartRadio's integration into Android Wear, heads in a different direction in which tech that controls music devices is worn.

Brainwave: Gesture-Based Music Control

Brainwave is a new Android app from OnTheGo Platforms that can be seen in action in the below video:

Brainwave – Music Gesture Control

OnTheGo (OTG) initially developed their Ari (Augmented Reality Interface) on Google Glass in part to work with extreme constraints. Now they've brought the tech to smartphones with their new Brainwave app.

App info and download:

"Once you download the BrainWave app it automatically adds all of the compatible music players on your phone (Pandora, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play Music, etc.) to its selection list. Then all you need to do is select your preferred music player and BrainWave will launch the music player with gesture recognition enabled."

"You can even listen to music in sleep mode (with your screen off). BrainWave will run quietly in the background allowing you to effortlessly control your music."

iHeartRadio: Android Wear Integration

Right now integrating with Android Wear means that iHeartRadio's Android app on one's smartphone can be controlled with a smartwatch. But eventually it should involve a broader range of wearables.

As President of iHeartRadio & iHeartMedia Networks Darren Davis noted:

“iHeartRadio has enjoyed a great relationship with Google over the years, and as a result, we are typically among the first to integrate with their newest products…"

"Wearables in general are a focus for us as they are becoming more common in the marketplace and Android Wear makes it easy for our listeners to access their favorite music from the most familiar wearable, the watch.”

Available features:

  • Voice Search – Listen to more than 1,900 live radio stations or create your own based on a library of more than 450,000 artists by simply saying "Z100" or "Rihanna"
  • Favorites – Quick access to view and play saved stations or shows
  • For You – Browse tailored recommendations based on specific music preferences and listening habits
  • Thumbs Up / Thumbs Down – Provide on the spot feedback to tailor future music recommendations, plus enjoy the ability to scan live stations across the country

Brain-powered or Embedded?

The long-term direction of these two approaches may one day converge but, at the moment, suggest to me a future in which we control devices via brainwaves (hence the name) but without the wires currently required. And/or a future in which wearable controllers have become embedded and are triggered by touching specific spots on one's skin.

Both those things will occur and even converge in various forms though we may not see wireless brain-control for a really long time.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand and is relaunching Crowdfunding For Musicians. Contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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