Where there’s a will, there’s a way and the folks at Leipzig’s Mendelssohn Museum decided to bring simulated conducting to the next level with an interactive exhibit that allows visitors to genuinely conduct a virtual orchestra.
Designed for the museum by interactive design studio, WhiteVOID, the system was featured in the 5/2/14 edition of wired.com in an article by Liz Stinson. The system relies on a Leap Motion controller to accomplish the real-time adjustments from a user’s motions and having a fair amount of experience with that particular motion detection device, the experience can be anywhere from superb to meh.
If nothing else, the promotional video projects a fun and seemingly seamless experience so the next step here should be a North American tour of the system at concert halls and museums.
Splitting each instrument group into different speakers is a good start but it would be fascinating when someone eventually takes the idea to the next step and allow sections to be divided based on user input. Love hearing the violins split into antiphonal seating? No problem. Prefer stacking the cellos and basses into a single vertical stack that stretches the entire depth of the stage? No problem.
And what will be even more interesting is when the system can apply mutually exclusive sensors per instrument section to detect a finer degree of instruction via motion and eye contact based cues to influence elements such as dynamic control. What’s that maestro; you’ve got a fever…and the only prescription is more cowbell? No problem.
On a personal note to the UX team, thank you for leaving out the baton-stand tap motion as a way to begin the program or reset playback.