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Becoming a rock god the computer science way

What do you get when you mix a desire to be a rock god with computer science? Computer Science students, Aki Kanerva, Juha Laitinen and Teemu Mäki-Patola from the Helsinki University of Technology had one idea...

Human communication is about much more than speech. We use and pick up lots of subtle signals from people's body language and expressions. It can completely change the way we understand what a person is saying or doing. A current hot area in computer science is using computer vision techniques combined with an understanding of this subtle human behaviour to allow computers to detect and behave appropriately - augmenting human abilities, or allowing them to understand the subtleties of our communication.

As part of their coursework, the Finnish students used this technology to detect the gestures budding rock gods make when playing air guitar. Their system translates their hand positions and gestures into the motions on a real guitar and plays the appropriate riffs.

So now you can play air guitar and actually make music...as long as you are willing to be seen dead in the brightly coloured gloves, needed for the system to detect your hands.