Is DrumPants a great new take on wearable technology, or a symbol of all that's wrong with modern technology?
As the name suggests, DrumPants is a drum kit you can wear and play on the go. With its pads and sensors strapped on top or underneath your clothes, potentially nowhere is off limits for a drum solo or free-form jazz percussion jam -- cycling down a street, stuck in your car in traffic, commuting to work on the bus or catching the metro.
As well as covering all of the sounds of a standard drum kit, DrumPants can support up to 100 different sounds, be it a full piano keyboard, freaky synth sounds or timpani. The only limit is your imagination. The fruits of your musical labors can be played through plug-in headphones or shared with indiscriminate strangers though a lightweight speaker.
But the fun doesn't stop with music: the pads can be tapped to control smartphone or tablet functions or even for gaming thanks to a supporting app and Bluetooth connectivity. And, because it has been developed by serious musicians, it supports MIDI interface for use with pro music creation software and concert PA and speaker systems and mixing desks.
The 'pads' are essentially long fabric strips with embedded sensors that attach via Velcro and can be wrapped around an arm or worn straight along the length of a leg for example. Each pad can support three sensors and a standard DrumPants kit will offer six sensors and the pro edition 12. That's if it hits its funding goal.
The product has just launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter where its makers hope to snare $35,000 towards production costs. And although the campaign doesn't end until January 10, the device is already one third there. Great news for its creators, who are all passionate musicians, but potentially bad news for other commuters, office workers and those in waiting rooms.
DrumPants hopes to ship the first devices in May 2014. The standard version will cost $99 and a pro version, which offers Bluetooth connectivity, $139.