The compact controller combines a MIDI controller with a video game-like interface.

Those looking to learn the piano without having to go to a piano teacher might be in luck – a company called Opho is releasing a keyboard that connects to your phone and helps you learn with a video game-like interface.

Like Rock Band or Guitar Hero, Keys has coloured dots scrolling down your phone’s screen, which light up the corresponding keys when they reach the bottom. It might play like a video game, but Keys is intended to properly teach you how to play melodies and chords from a range of in-built music, from free public domain classics to more recent compositions you have to pay extra for. Once you’ve mastered the basic interface, there’s one resembling the layout of sheet music that should give a more accurate representation of playing the piano.

The Keys take the form of a compact 24-key controller reminiscent of Korg’s MicroKEY, and doubles up as a MIDI controller. It’s also modular, so if you want more octaves, you can join two or more together with the in-built magnets and wireless communication technology. It also features a Theremin-like gesture interface, which can be used for modifying the sound itself or shifting the keyboard up or down an octave. For producers, Opho is also planning a module of knobs for adjusting synth parameters.

The Keys isn’t the first time Opho has created such an instrument – in 2012 the company raised over $350,000 on Kickstarter to fund the gTar, a digital guitar that enabled easy learning in a similar way. If you want to pre-order one, you can get one together with an iPhone dock for $115 from Indiegogo. [via TechCrunch]



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