Bruno Zamborlin, a PhD candidate at IRCAM/Centre Pompidou and Goldsmiths, University of London, and Norbert Schnell, a Centre Pompidou researcher, created this astounding demo of using a contact microphone to turn any hard surface into a touch interface. The microphone detects the vibrations from your touches and figures out what kind of touch you're engaged in and what you're touching with, and translates that into music. Don't miss the balloon demo at the end.
Through gesture recognition techniques we detect different kind of fingers-touch and associate them with different sounds.
In the video we used two different audio synthesis techniques:
1- physics modelling, which consists in generating the sound by simulating physical laws;
2- concatenative synthesis (audio mosaicing), in which the sound of the contact microphone is associated with its closest frame present in a sound database.
The system can recognise both fingers-touches and objects that emit a sound, such as the coin shown in the video.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.