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This Electromagnetic Spray Turns Your Guitar Into a Giant Touch Screen

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This electromagnetic spray may usher in the future of guitar technology. By spraying the body of your guitar and attaching electrodes to the edge of the axe, you can turn your six-string into a giant touch screen.

Imagine buying a guitar with no volume knobs, pickup selector switches or even a whammy bar on the body. A new spray called Electrick might eliminate the need for all that stuff. All you need is a computer and some software to completely customize a guitar.

The spray is described as a “versatile sensing technique that enables touch input on a wide variety of objects and surfaces, whether small or large, flat or irregular. This is achieved by using electric field tomography in concert with an electrically conductive material, which can be easily and cheaply added to objects and surfaces through a variety of fabrication methods such as painting, 3D printing, injection molding etc.”

You can see in the clip above how custom controls are added to a guitar’s body using a laptop. You can put volume control or a pickup selector switch on literally any part of the body as long as it’s been sprayed with Electrick. “For the first time, we’ve been able to take a can of spray paint and put a touch screen on almost anything,” said Chris Harrison, assistant professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) and head of the Future Interfaces Group at CMU, in a statement.

The spray allows the entire body of the guitar to conduct electricity instead of just the wiring inside. A person’s fingers are tracked along the guitar by the electrodes, which measure the voltage at all points of the sprayed area. Mind blown! [via IFL Science]

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