Categories: Hardware Prototypes/Non-Commercial products

Submitted by:Valeriy Nenov, PhD, PhD, Dipl. Ing.

24 May 2023

Elevator Pitch


MusiMoto is a SW+HW system designed to empower anyone who likes playing MIDI musical instruments to do it while walking, jogging, riding, skating or dancing.

Product Description


MusiMoto is a unique MIDI controller and polyphonic synthesizer designed for playing sheet music while in motion including walking, running, bicycle riding, ice and roller skating and even dancing. A beginner's version (available as DIY kit at https://musimotodiy.mystrikingly.com/) consists of a free iPhone app and two wrist-mounted keypads connected via Bluetooth. Some of the keypad buttons are mapped to the 12 musical notes in an octave. The remaining are used for changing MIDI instruments, octaves, melody keys, pitch and volume. The app features 85 classic and ethnic instruments. An advanced version has additional Motion Control Units attached to the keypads to simulate natural strumming/plucking, blowing/drawing, and enable effortless playing all types of chords, vibrato, tremolo, glissando, etc. While MusiMoto can be used on a single iPhone and with a single wrist mount, the preferred usage is on two iPhones and two wrist-braces one on the left and one on the right hand This way one can play two MIDI instruments in tandem and in stereo and also be able to play any combination of low and high notes much like on an full 88-keys piano. Any iPhone version 7 or higher will work and the iPhones can be worn in pockets, attached to the players chest by magnetic buttons or fully detached form the player and wired to external speakers for stage performances and stereo effect.

How It's Innovative

MusiMoto is deceptively simple by design and yet very versatile musical instrument. The most innovative aspect of MusiMoto is the wrist-mounting of the two Bluetooth-LE (short latencies move thumb sticks, which enable two-finger chord playing including Major, Minor, Augmented, and Diminished. An extra thumb-toggle button provides for playing 7th, 11, and 13 chords. Musimoto is easy to learn using the on-keypad and on-screen labeling of all notes and controls. Furthermore, once the key mappings are learned there is no need to look at the keys anymore - just look where you are going and play. The device is lightweight (300 grams) and completely portable. It is easy to put on and wear while engaged in all kinds of physical activities. It can be easily connected to external audio systems. In addition, the app features practice melodies from many ethnic regions and the in-app instructions are localized in 18 languages. The main differentiators for MusiMoto are: - Designed for playing sheet music on any of 85 built-in SoundFonts. - Learn one and play all built-in MIDI instruments the same way. - Play each instrument in its full octave range and in an intuitive semi-natural way including strumming/plucking, blowing/drawing, etc. - Midi Polyphonic Expression (MPE) and harmonies support. - Microtonal support for all Microtonal instruments (Fretted: guitars, banjo, mandolin, etc. Unfretted: violin, oud, etc.) - Learn all cord types once and play them on all instruments the same way using only two fingers. - Sound inflections support (vibrato, tremolo, glissando, staccato, legato, etc.) - Play any two MIDI instruments in tandem (stereo). - iOS version only. No Android version for now due to unacceptable latencies.

See MIDI Innovation In Action

Most Inspiring Use Cases

It is my belief that music making does not have to be static while sitting in front of or holding an instrument. Music making also does not have to be geared mostly to please an audience whether live or pre-recorded. Music making can and should be done anywhere, anytime and especially outdoors while enjoying nature. It should be done for personal pleasure while involved in all kinds of physical activities. My personal moto is “Dance to my own MusiMoto beat". My vision is a group of friends or a family walking in the park or the wilderness, each of them wearing MusiMoto and playing some of the built-in MIDI SoundFonts like an open-air music band. Or imagine a team of synchronized ice skaters all wearing and playing MusiMoto while skating instead of listening to pre-recorders music. In general the main purpose of MusiMoto is democratizing access to music making in motion. MusiMoto can be used for personal practice and pleasure as well as for stage performances by a number of players. It can also be used by DJs to control various devices including LEDs, lasers and special effects.

Expansion Plans

An expansion of MusiMoto, which was developed recently and is currently under iterative testing and refinement is called MusiFeri. The basic idea is to use the entire human body as a MIDI controller. For this purpose 16 MPU6050 sensors are attached to the left and right Forearm, Arm, Chest, Head, Pelvis, Thigh, Leg and Foot using a full-body costume. The sensors are paired by proximity and an Arduino sketch loaded on 2 ESP32 microcontrollers calculates in real time the angles of the dozen major body joints (elbows, shoulders, waist, hips, knees, ankles plus neck). The motion sensor data is transmitted via Bluetooth-LE to an enhanced version of the MusiMoto app where they are used to control a multitude of MIDI synthesizers. The result of this is an extremely versatile and musically expressive one-man-band.


MusiMoto is not commercially available yet. A limited number of hand-crafted advanced version sets are available for purchase on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/listing/1183970658/musimoto. A commercial version of MusiMoto will feature a more ergonomic arch-shaped keypads with retractable attachment to variable sized wrist braces. The keypads will also integrate the Motion Processing Units as well as the thumb-sticks. The entire hardware component will come in different sizes to accommodate large and small hands. Commercialization will begin only after a sufficient number of early adopters provide feedback and sufficient funds a raised.