Education

Teomirn Is The World's First Augmented-Reality Piano Teacher

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Most people who took piano lessons as a child have strong opinions about their teachers. But what if you could learn to play the instrument with no teacher—or nagging, or criticism, or strange soup smells—at all? Teomirn is the world's first augmented-reality app designed to do just that.

Hello, I'm Professor Disembodied Hands

Ok, so a real piano teacher doesn't give you the uncanny valley creeps, but they also can't do a lot of the things this app can. It works with HoloLens, Microsoft's VR headset, and gives you a number of ways to learn. Both modes let you choose from a virtual library of songs, then watch as a 3D pair of hands plays your chosen melody. As the hands play, each key lights up—green for the left hand, blue for the right—and colored lines stream steadily down toward the keys (à la Dance Dance Revolution) to let you know which notes are coming up. All the while, you're free to pause, go back, or change learning modes.

Many Ways To Learn

In one mode, a set of disembodied hands plays at your own keyboard as you watch. You can also choose to attach the pianist's entire body to those hands, if you'd like. That can help students understand how posture and arm position play a role in the performance. In another mode, you sit at the piano, and the hands play a VR keyboard positioned just above your own. You follow along with the hands on the real keyboard, learning how to play by mimicking their movement.

The app is still in its early stages, but it's a nice proof of concept. The world of virtual and augmented reality is in its infancy. Imagine what you could learn with the technology in the future?

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