A new app generates music from your heartbeat and adapts to your movements. The possibilities are endless, says developer Dr David Plans
I started my career studying artificial intelligence and computer science, wrote my PhD in evolutionary computation techniques and helped build the first European merger for Open Source start-ups. But when my heart stopped on a business flight, due to stress, I knew I had to make serious changes to my life and career. I also wanted to make tools and apps that could help others become more aware of the stress in their lives.
BioBeats, the company I co-founded, brings entertainment and healthcare together through adaptive media. Our technologies learn about you from your biometric data and adapt to help you live a more engaging, healthier life. Our first app, Pulse, generates music from users’ heartbeats.
We recently won funding and industry partnership in IC tomorrow’s Entertainment on the Move contest for our latest idea, GetOnUp – a movement-based music generator and activity tracker.
The contest funding from IC tomorrow and its associated partnership with the British Phonographic Industry is a big win for us and will enable us to push out into the wider market.
Crucially, it will enable us to give the public access to our proprietary technology, which can pull in any song and input a wide array of biometric data to that song (not just the heartbeat) and adapt it to the individual. This means our users will be able to personalise their favourite songs while on the move, creating a whole new category of music that encourages movement and awareness of the body and its surroundings.
Once someone is aware of how much of an impact they can have on their entertainment, the possibilities are limited only by their imagination. Concerts and performers can be more intimately involved in their art, while audience members can join in the show and even modify the behaviour of the artists.
Taken out onto the street, everyone can create their own personal performances that neither include nor preclude those around them. You can become your own orchestra just by walking to work. You can start and stop your involvement with music or visuals with the flick of a wrist, a head movement or a series of jumps. You’re moving because you want to move. You’re creating, and at the same time, remixing the work of others in a never-ending, personal performance.
Dr David Plans is co-founder of BioBeats. BioBeats is currently giving away free GetOnUp accounts for a year when users invite two friends.