One of the stranger fruits born by Music Hack Day Boston this past weekend was Heart Beats, which mashes a heart rate-detecting watch with Max/MSP to control music’s tempo with the subject’s heartbeat.
“Heart Beats continually modifies the tempo of your music to match your heart rate,” writes its creator Ryan Challinor. “Hopefully this won’t result in a positive feedback system that gives the user a heart attack.”
Luckily, you don’t need to worry about that now, because there is only one instance of Heart Beats technology and it involves duct tape. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a kick of watching it in action.
Here’s Ryan Challinor’s Heart Beats hack controlling the tempo of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” (a song that will hopefully soon jump the proverbial shark, because I think this was the last time I could bear to hear it). Regardless, this is a neat hack and it works like a charm, despite using a camera to watch the readout of the user’s heart rate.
“It uses a heart rate monitor that wirelessly communicates with a watch, and there is a webcam duct-taped to the watch with quick’n'dirty OCR to read the heart rate in Max/MSP,” adds Challinor. “The heart rate is divided by the original tempo of the song, which determines the speed at which the song should play.” Neat.