Point Motion Lets You Create Music with Movement
Kevin Clark wasn’t a typical Berklee student. He was denied twice before finally getting in. He wasn’t interested in, as he says, being a “virtuoso pianist.” He was just a kid who liked hip hop, and wanted to create something great.
“One day I just thought, What if I could move my body and create music?” he remembers. The rest is history.
With little technical background, Clark, now 24, jerry-rigged a motion control music platform using a Kinect he won at bingo night, and an open-source software called Synapse. “It was a pretty amazing thing, to see my body move in thin air and control these beats,” he says. “But for me to be the only person doing that really didn’t sit well with me.”
At the urging of a friend—and after a trip to India, during which he realized he needed to go from “being a musician to being musical”—Clark began working to patent his invention. He also collaborated with a Tufts grad named Chris Penny, who created a more advanced technical platform for the product; Boston Engineering; and an Israeli company called Extreme Reality, which specializes in motion control technology.
The result is a company now called Point Motion, which launches its Indiegogo campaign June 7. The startup’s signature product allows consumers to use their movement of choice—anything from meditation to dance to working out—to create music. The app alone costs $20; people who want more advanced functionality can purchase a wireless controller that will cost $175.
The product includes two apps. The first, called Point Wellness, syncs different parts of the body to different sounds. “The camera tracks your body, and using the algorithm, it creates a skeleton,” Clark explains. “The computer takes that skeleton, and through different commands we give it, says, ‘When it’s this way, make this sound or do this effect.'” Users can record their own sounds or choose from pre-recorded options, assigning them to certain gestures—flicking a wrist, say—to create motion-controlled music.
The second function, called Puppet Master, is for the more musically inclined set. “The different gestures that you do trigger different parts of the song,” Clark says. “You could control an entire drum beat and the different grooves that are in it, depending on how you move.”
While Clark says Point Motion could have huge implications for the creative industry, he says the most immediate use is in the health and wellness sector, where the product can be used for everything from adding a new element to your daily workout, to helping physical therapists track patients’ progress, to affording people with physical limitations a new creative outlet.
“We integrate creativity into a range of places in life,” Clark says. “When you’re stretching, or when you’re kickboxing, why can’t that be a creative moment?”