Finger Piano Share: Play Real Pianos From Your iPhone, Remotely
The iPhone increasing lets you do many things, but playing a real piano in real time so far hasn't been one of them -- at least until this past week at CEATEC, the annual consumer electronics show held in Tokyo, Japan, which we were fortunate enough to attend. On display at the Yamaha booth was one of the more impressive iPhone apps we've seen to date: Called Finger Piano Share, since it lets up to 10 people remotely play a real piano from their iPhones via Wi-Fi (the piano must be of the MIDI-enabled Disklavier variety, of course).
You'll see a bit of what the app looks like in the above video. You tap a virtual key on your iPhone screen, and the real key plays on the piano. Finger Piano Share lets you play music of your own creation, improvise along with other folks simultaneously for some kind of abstract jam session, or play pre-programmed tunes by following onscreen prompts, a la 'Rock Band.'
But there's more. Working in conjunction with the GPS-enabled, augmented reality Sekai Camera iPhone app, Finger Piano Share lets users 'tag' a particular performance of a piece they might have played on a specific piano or on the iPhone in a specific place. When the Sekai Camera app is turned on, these tags appear on the iPhone camera screen whenever its lens focuses on a geo-tagged musical performance location (though for now it has to be a Yamaha piano). Users can click on these tags and instantly play the piece of music that was recorded in that spot.
The augmented reality add-on is a bit weird, in our view, since we're not sure how often we're going to be walking down the street and coming across several Yamaha pianos (or Steinways, for that matter) all within view of our iPhones camera, but maybe it would make more sense at a music camp or conservatory.
Still, we were impressed with the overall fusing of old-school technology (piano) with white-hot technologies of today (augmented reality and iPhone apps).