Play music with these gloves — no instruments required!

Student research project comes up with hands on, instruments off idea for music creation


Cornell engineering student Ray Li came up with the pretty nifty looking gloves you see above. Referred to as the “Aura”, the hand warmers are actually wearable, electronic musical instruments. To play them, the user slips the sensor-equipped gloves on and moves them through a magnetic field. The movement itself is tracked and the hand positions are converted into MIDI signals (electronic instrument language), which are then fed into a synthesizer.


Pitch is controlled by the user raising or lowering their hands. Spreading them apart increases volume, while closing one’s fingers muffles the sound. When the user twists his or her hands, the sound gets distorted.

Oh, and since different hand positions can be assigned to trigger various sounds in the MIDI catalogue, there’s the potential to create some pretty unique new musical compositions, as Li demonstrates in the video below.

“The goal was to create the most intuitive instrument,” Li said. “We’re trying to capture those intuitive gestures and make music.”