Air Guitar and Shaking Hands with Your PC

Loraine Lawson

There are so many interesting technologies to tell you about -- it's hard to decide where to start.


So I'll start with something fun, completely irrelevant but universally irresistible: The Air Guitar.


Thanks to Japanese toy makers, you can now play air guitar and actually make music.


Well, I say make "music." But really a heat and motion sensor is causing pre-recorded (obviously) music to play.


Apparently, there are several versions of these air guitar devices, all unveiled during the annual Tokyo International Toy Show. The one highlighted includes a device that looks like the neck of the guitar with about four frets. Another is worn on the wrist, which makes more sense, since everybody knows the fun of playing an air guitar is to do the "made" '70s-'80s heavy metal finger work on the neck. Otherwise, you're just air strumming -- where's the fun in that?


This isn't the first virtual air guitar, but it seems the difference is that the original needed a PC and some software, whereas this is a device that works on its own -- kinda like a real guitar.


Air guitar is huge in Japan now.


Japanese researchers of a more serious nature also made news today after announcing a system that lets you shake hands with your computer screen. There's a really cool picture with the New Scientist article.


Of course, the point isn't to shake hands with your computer screen, although it could be used to allow officials or businesspeople to shake hands before a global Webcast. The point is to make a 3D system that you can actually touch. Educational uses would include allowing someone to "touch" an exhibit at a museum.


The system uses a 3D display with a "haptic glove."

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