Three years ago, Incident Technologies unveiled its Kickstarter campaign whereby $350,000 was raised for gTar, a digital guitar. After achieving great success, the San Francisco-based company now called Opho, anticipates Keys will do even better. This modular keyboard will be priced at $100 although early bird specials will start at just $88.
When first looking at Keys, it appears to be like any other 24-key portable MIDI controller but what sets this apart from others is the light up keys that when combined with the iPhone application will actually teach a person to play.
Keys also has a rechargeable battery and it offers a gesture control feature that is controlled with sensors within the hardware that let an individual control hardware simply by waving hands in the air. To play a song in a lower or higher octave, a hand would simply be swiped left or right.
Making it easy for Keys and an iPhone application to work together is the special hardware that uses magnetic connection technology. Keys also used CoreMIDI so it can be used along with other music applications, not only for mobile devices but also desktop computers.
According to Idan Beck, founder and CEO of Opho, Keys will start being shipped by early summer. While anyone can use the device, he believes both novice and experienced musicians, as well as DJs will appreciate what it offers most.
Keys is also designed to link magnetically so a person can connect two 24-key keyboards to create on 48-key keyboard. While not yet offered, at some point attaching a modular control panel, as well as other accessories, will be possible.
Running off AMON technology, which is the acronym for “magnetically actuated wireless communication technology”, making it possible for Keys to be connected magnetically and to create real-time ad-hoc networks.
After playing, Keys breaks down quickly and easily, with each component stacking neatly on top of the other. When done, the entire unit fits nicely in a backpack. The original goal was to provide people with a product that was more affordable, lighter weight, and something that had mass market appeal.
As a bonus, some of the proceeds from sales of Keys during the preorder campaign will go to a not-for-profit initiated called Immunity Project, which is dedicated to developing a vaccine for HIV that is 100% free.