WATCH: Amazing new invention allows piano to be played with no hands
Score another win for technology. FOVE, a startup in Tokyo, joined forces with the University of Tsukuba’s Special Needs Education School for the Physically Challenged and developed the world's first eye-tracking head mount display for consumers. This cutting-edge device not only allows users enjoy the realistic world of 3D, but, more importantly, it allows people with disabilities to do something they never thought possible, like play the piano simply by moving their eyes.
Kouta Numajiri, a 17-year-old Japanese high school student with spinal muscular atrophy, a nerve and muscle weakening disease, touched the hearts of many by playing the piano at his school's Christmas concert. Unable to play with his hands due to his condition, he played by using only his eyes with FOVE, the new eye-tracking head mount display. FOVE, which stands for Field of View and Fovea (part of the eye responsible for sharp central vision), uses eye tracking, orientation sensing, and head position tracking to allow users to control their virtual world with their eyes. Putting this technology to good use was important to the creators, who, together with the University of Tsukuba’s Special Needs Education School for the Physically Challenged, launched project "Eye Play the Piano," which "supports each and everyone’s freedom of expression by allowing one to play the piano without the use of hands or arms and instead through the use of the eye tracking head mount device, FOVE."
According to Yuka Kojima, the inventor of FOVE and the president of the company with the same name, "The eye-tracking function was just added to existing hardware. In the future, we hope to add more functions to it, so that people who may have given up on playing instruments or painting can have something to look forward to."
Inventor Yuka Kojima
See Song Ha Yoon and Teen Top’s Changjo in the lighthearted fantasy comedy Sweden Laundry:
Interview by Rudolph before the show
Playing in front of classmates
Kouta and Yuka
Kouta, who played "Joy to the World" on the piano in the Christmas concert video above and who also took part in the development of FOVE, seems pretty happy with the outcome of the device and his performance. "I'm relieved everything went well," he said. "I want to play the guitar, drums and other instruments next."
The website for the project is http://eyeplaythepiano.com.