Passing by the masses of wearable devices currently on display at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair the vast majority are centred around health and fitness; tracking steps, sleep and calories and acting as an extension of smartphones.
However within the world of wearables exists room for even more diverse applications. The most successful wearable products distinguish themselves by catering to the needs specific to the wearer – products that just make more sense to be worn on the body rather than held.
One such product is the SoundBrenner Pulse, a wearable metronome conceived by a group of musicians and technologists from Berlin. Currently halfway to being funded on crowdsourcing site IndieGoGo, it has been dubbed the ‘world’s first wearable device for musicians.’
The SoundBrenner team have set about improving on the metronome which was patented by German inventor Johann Maelzel in 1815 to help musicians keep a steady tempo.
Fast forward 200 years and today the metronome has been recreated in smartphone apps, however the ticking sound persists.
SoundBrenner Pulse helps musicians keep time by delivering a silent vibration, up to six times stronger than smartphone vibration alerts. It can be worn on the wrist, bicep or angle depending on what instrument is being played.
After months of developing in the product in Berlin and receiving the tick of approval from many musicians, the company relocated to Hong Kong to be able to seriously handle the manufacture of the product. The first orders of the product are expected to ship in October this year.
A pianist himself, SoundBrenner CEO Florian Simmendinger says Pulse is a more natural way to feel the beat than the distracting and somewhat annoying ticking of a metronome.
The device pairs to a smartphone app via bluetooth which controls the tempo, or can alter the hue of the LED lights which flash in time with the music. The app can speak to up to 10 devices at once so an entire band can keep time together and the tempo can also be changed directly by tapping the device with a new beat.
Simmendinger expects Pulse to be popular with musicians, but also with parents keen to shape their piano playing progenies.
The app has a Smart Music Coach plus exercises to improve rhythm and the battery lasts 5-6 hours, or the equivalent of one week of daily practices.