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Augmenting a MIDI Keyboard Using Virtual Interfaces

With the ongoing development of virtual reality (VR) systems, such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, there is a need to develop new interfaces that maximize immersion in VR. Several VR interfaces have been successfully developed and implemented for a mixed reality (MR) MIDI keyboard. MR exists along a continuum between a pure real environment and a pure virtual environment. This paper presents a collection of virtual interfaces used to augment a MIDI keyboard synchronized in physical and virtual space. Several virtual interfaces are developed and evaluated. Some utilize the tactility offered by the keyboard’s surface, while others rely on the improved presence offered by the keyboard. An evaluation of these virtual interfaces is made with respect to learnability and the utility to identify the successes and failures of these interfaces. With few exceptions, the interfaces developed offer functional and immersive control in a VR environment. Some mimic ordinary real interfaces without the need for fixed sensors, offering significantly improved flexibility and functionality while taking advantage of the tactility of the keyboard. A number of other interfaces are built upon this immersion to take advantage of the virtual environment.


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