Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.29.37 AM

The World’s First Biocreative Instrument is Here

Imagine being able control the sound parameter of a digital music platform by simply rotating your arm. It sounds more like something from a futuristic science fiction novel than the 2016 music world, but this virtual reality interaction is now possible with the newly designed XTH Sense. Introduced as the world’s first biocreative instrument, it captures body signals and uses them to interact with technology.

Using coded algorithms, the new instrument is a wireless wearable device. Accompanying this is a software suite, which tracks muscular energy, temperature changes and movement dynamics to connect with devices such as music software and games. These new “biocreative interactions” will revolutionise the way that we can be part of the exciting world of technology.

“The rise of our biology as the new digital interface is upon us,” says XTH co-founder Heidi Boisvert. “Our bodies can become a powerful medium each containing a unique and distinct message. With this guiding influence we took a radical approach to the current wearable market. Instead of using technology to examining and quantify our biology, we are seeking to understand and amplify the creative and human expression of our bodies.”

Its easy-to-use and highly personalised design means the device “grows” with he user by building a custom library of biological reference points for unique gestures. When wearing the device, an array of biosensors track the body’s bioacoustics sounds (muscle sounds, heartbeat and blood flow) as well as motion data, such as rotation and motion. This data is then transferred to the XTH Software Suite that runs on Mac OSX, Windows and Linux, where users can then run the plug & play application, or load XTH plugins in their chosen platform for music and creative software.

Once this connection between the body and technology is established, users can use their body’s expressive features to alter the raw digital content – such as controlling musical parameters, painting digital drawing, or entering into the world of virtual reality. For those really keen to engage with the creative potential of the device, there are options to share projects with other users from around the world.

“If you have a body, you are a creator with the XTH Sense. In fact, our software is designed to be so easy to use that children can play and create with it,” says fellow XTH co-founder Marco Donnarumma. “It is the first instrument to establish a direct connection between biology and media. This is a stark contrast to the current direction of the wearable market, which views the body purely as data to track, measure and analyse – whereas the XTH Sense, the first biocreative technology, reveals the human body as more than data.”

XTH was founded by Marco Donnarumma and Heidi Boisvert in 2012 as a platform to explore the rapidly developing intersect between technology and the human body, with the XTH Sense recognised as the “world’s most innovative musical instrument” by the Georgia Tech Centre for Music Technology that same year. Donnarumma is a renowned musician and researcher who created the prototype for the original XTH Sense as an instrument for his own sound art and performance pursuits. Together with Boisvert, he has designed this new instrument to change the way we see technology – not as an object that does things for us, but rather to do things to and with us. Boisvert’s background as a digital artist and creative technologist has enabled XTH to connect us to the digital age through passionate engagement with technology.

For a limited time, XTH Sense can be pre-ordered as part of their Kickstarter campaign.

Words by Delia Bartle