Air Guitar Hero: No Plastic Toy Required Here To Rock

From the bright minds at  Johns Hopkins University comes a new amazing way to play Guitar Hero – guitar peripheral free.

Air Guitar Hero in action on Vimeo Image

Who doesn’t want to be a rock-and-roll star, seriously? The ethereal feeling of having complete mastery over a single instrument, the crowds of thousands chanting your name as you shred like there ain’t no tomorrow, and of course, being able to fly across the world in a gem-encrusted private jet in the shape of a Gibson Flying V guitar as you head off to your next show (yes, I’ve thought long and hard about this.)

In that realm, that’s where Activion’s Guitar Hero, and its music game genre cousin, Rock Band by Harmonix, achieve in giving ordinary peons with no spec of musical talent – myself included – a chance to strut their inner rock god. Of course, the only downside to this is having to bring out a plastic guitar peripheral every time you just want to rock out to a Queen song with a couple of your buds.

Then there’s the annoyance of putting away the flippin’ thing once you’re done, and that’s more tougher than stuffing an elephant into a carry-on bag – ahh, freshman year. You know, It would super make-my-day if someone could devise a way to play games like Rock Band or Guitar Hero without the need of such a space-wasting accessory, but that will never – oh wait, that’s right! Someone just did!

Check out what these two amazing Johns Hopkins University alumni did by turning the Nintendo Wii port of Guitar Hero into a into a rehab tool for amputees who no longer have use of their hands or fingers – in turn, making the world’s first version of Air Guitar Hero, which negates the need for lame uni-tasking guitar controllers and the like. Oh science, is there nothing that you can’t do?

Designed by biomechanical engineer Robert Armiger and surgical roboticist Carol Reiley, this prototype uses muscle contracts and flexes – by way of electrodes placed on your arms – to control the act of strumming or pressing the five rainbow-colored buttons one would do if playing Guitar Hero with an actual guitar.

Sure, perhaps it’s not as cool looking as its plastic counterpart, but it’s all for a great cause, and I got no beef with that. Here’s Jon Kuniholm, an Iraq war vet and Open Prosthetics Project founder – who himself is an amputee – demoing how Air Guitar Hero works, to which it does impressively:

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