This is something you don’t see every day: a brand new Sony product launching for the first time on Indiegogo. Motion Sonic is, in the words of the Sony campaign, “effects equipment to make the sound synchronize with your movements for music playback”.
The Motion Sonic device itself is a small capsule that slides into rubber wristbands of various shapes, sort of like a Fitbit. There is one strap that attaches to your wrist for use like guitar playing, and another wraps around the back of your hand and is better suited for playing keys.
What it actually does is you can link hand movements to specific musical effects. For example, you can set it to add a delay effect when you move your fingers from left to right, or to bend the pitch as you roll your wrist. These effects are all created and saved in an iOS app, then you need to connect your iPhone to your instrument with an audio interface. (It is not compatible with Android.)
Here are some demonstrations:
Sony has actually had this project going for a while – we tried out an early version on SXSW in 2017. Shortly after, Sony posted this interview with a designer and art director on the project, who attributed the original idea to an engineer named Heesoon Kim. The Motion Sonic Indiegogo Campaign now names Kim as Project Leader, citing him as saying: “I believe we can create new entertainment never seen before with Motion Sonic and I am so excited to work with you to create a new culture! “
Sony isn’t new to crowdfunding, but most of its projects to date – such as the portable air conditioner Reon Pocket – have been limited to its own First Flight site in Japan. Now that Motion Sonic is on Indiegogo, Sony will ship it to both the US and the home market. The first 400 units will be sold for 23,900 yen or $ 218, and the retail price is 27,200 yen or $ 248. The product will ship in March next year.