Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Ain't technology wonderful?

When I was in grade school, we had a routine that used to drive the teachers nuts. We played "Wipe Out". OK, that's an old instrumental tune by the Surfaris (and you can hear a sample of the tune). I don't mean that we played it in music class, no. We played desk drum and air guitar.

And, as I say, it drove the teachers nuts (which was sometimes a very short drive). It would start with one kid drumming on his desk. It would move, virally, around the room as the teacher looked up to see who'd started it. And just as the teacher was about to speak, in a vain attempt to stop the cacophony, someone would give the freaky cry, "Hahahahahahaha, Wipe Out!", and those who hadn't started drumming would add the guitars, strumming and picking and stopping strings in the air, as they vocalized: Ner-ner-ner-ner, Ner-ner-ner-ner, Ner-ner-ner-ner, Ner-ner-ner-ner....

Man, we loved that!

But now, well... you would know that technology has given us a way to take it, oh, so much further. Yes, indeed, we now have the air guitar t-shirt (which seems to be officially called the "wearable instrument shirt"):

CANBERRA, Australia — Scientists announced Monday that they have developed a high-tech T-shirt that turns the strumming of an air guitar into music. The T-shirt has motion sensors built into its elbows that pick up the wearer's arm motions and relay them wirelessly to a computer which interprets them as guitar riffs, said Richard Helmer, an engineer who leads the research team from the government's Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

I wonder how the "sensors built into its elbows" can tell which fingers are on which frets, or which string the "player" is picking, but maybe they really do have it down.

And it's a cool idea, it really is. If I'd had one when I was in grade school, well, that would have been truly out of sight. But I still think I'd have battered "Wipe Out" on my desk. Because... it's just not the same.

Ner-ner-ner-ner, Ner-ner-ner-ner, Ner-ner-ner-ner, Ner-ner-ner-ner....

1 comment:

The Ridger, FCD said...

My father used to say, in response to "you're driving me crazy!" - "That's not a drive; it's a putt."