Categories: Commercial Hardware Products

Submitted by:Instruments of things

10 May 2022

Elevator Pitch


SOMI-1 is a highly precise sensor technology that measures movement and transforms it into sound in real-time. The Bluetooth® sensors can be worn as wearables on the wrists and ankles, turning the user into an instrument.

Product Description


SOMI-1 was designed to be a reliable motion sensor platform for musical applications via MIDI. It consists of up to 6 motion sensor wearables, a receiver hub with UI/IO elements and an (optional) mobile app (iOS / Android) providing ready-to-use sound scapes for consumers without technical pre knowledge in electronic musical instruments. The motion sensors can be attached to different body parts or any other moving object using the provided wristbands or clothing clips. Unprecedented performance and connectivity is achieved by using a dedicated receiver hardware.

How It's Innovative

In comparison to other MIDI controllers from the past using motion sensors, SOMI-1 follows a top down approach. Thus, it focuses not only on a specific body part or rather a specific gesture, but the whole body to be used as a controller by using several motion sensors simultaneously. Furthermore, each motion sensor offers 7 independent movement parameters, which can be mapped to specific MIDI messages, such as Note On/Off, Control Change (optional 14 bit) and Pitch Bend. Additionally, the sensor data is post-processed on the receiver hub allowing scaling, smoothing, inversion, etc. of each parameter independently. This offers high flexibility to integrate SOMI-1 in any live or studio setup and allows artists to use SOMI-1 with any MIDI compatible hardware or software. The movement parameters are computed using state-of-the-art sensor fusion algorithms based on accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. Furthermore, by using a custom transmission protocol based on Bluetooth® 5 between the motion sensor wearables and the receiver hub, a latency under 10 milliseconds is guaranteed independent of the end device. Additionally distances of up to 50 meters are possible as well as a high number of sensors, which can be used simultaneously.

See MIDI Innovation In Action

Most Inspiring Use Cases

SOMI-1 is a controller covering a wide range of applications. It allows collaborations of musicians and dancers, where dancers intuitively interact with the live setup of the musicians creating a symbiosis of both worlds. This especially allows dancers and musicians to do live improvisations together. SOMI-1 is perfect to create audio-visual performances, where both audio and visuals are controlled by movements in real-time. But also traditional acoustic instruments can be extended with SOMI-1. For example, the sensors can be attached to a guitar to modulate effect pedals. Or drummers can make use of SOMI-1 to set accents via audio effects while performing. Lastly, the mobile app offers several ready-to-use sound scapes, such as Ambient, Nature, Club, 808, etc. that can be used by any person without any technical pre-knowledge. By using a smartphone only, SOMI-1 has a high level of mobility, so that it can be used outside as well, for example for meditation, outdoor sports, and so forth.

Expansion Plans

SOMI-1 was designed based on recent wireless sensor technology by industry leading manufacturers. Both, the motion sensor wearables as well as the receiver hub can be updated wirelessly with any smartphone or tablet supporting Bluetooth LE. The soundscapes of the mobile app were created using the open source visual programming environment Pure Data. The mobile app will be opened to external sound designers allowing them to create new soundscapes based on Pure Data and offer them as in-app purchases to consumers. Thus SOMI-1 focuses on connecting consumers and sound designers to realize new ideas and cover new use cases, such as soundscapes for outdoor sports, yoga, physical rehabilitation, etc.


SOMI-1 was successfully funded on Kickstarter in September 2021 and is planned to be shipped in August 2022. Distribution is planned mostly via international retailers as well as Instruments of Things’ online shop.