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VivaTech 2022: This French start-up is creating deep tech to revolutionise music production

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Musicians demonstrate Embodme's MIDI controller at the Vivatech conference in Paris.
Musicians demonstrate Embodme's MIDI controller at the Vivatech conference in Paris.   -   Copyright  Embodme
By Aisling Ní Chúláin

Among the green tech, metaverse and crypto companies that dominated this year’s VivaTech in Paris, one start-up made its mark by putting on a mini electronic music concert at their stand on the conference floor.

Two musicians sat with a compact touch sensitive music controller, riffing to a beat with their finger tips.

The device - called the Erae Touch - is the brainchild of French start-up Embodme, a deep tech company that focuses on human-computer interfaces.

"[It’s] basically a music controller, super expressive," explained the company’s CEO and founder, Edgar Hemery.

"It senses musical articulation very precisely. There are a thousand force sensors inside the product. It's wrapped with a semi-rigid silicone cover so that you can hit it with drumsticks, you can caress. It can strike in every way, address the musical intention and articulation. And it's very versatile," he added.

The device has been on the market since 2020, endorsed by the likes of artists Coldplay, Flume and Jean-Michel Jarre who have all used the product in their stage shows.

It's interesting for hygiene, for the user experience of navigating and free touch, and it opens up so many possibilities for you.
Edgar Hemery
CEO & Co-founder, Embodme

But that’s not the only product the company had on display.

Embodme has also developed a new type of "touchless" touchscreen technology which could in time enable people to interact with computers or smartphones without direct physical contact.

"This is very unique. Here you have a continuous detection between touch and ten centimetres above. This is a matrix of this sensor that we call photosensitive pixels," explained Hemery.

"It's a smart pixel that can track your finger from touch and above in a continuous volume of interaction, very precisely".

For Hemery, the future implications of the tech are clear.

"This would be like a perfect next generation of smartphones where you can have touch information but also navigate touchlessly. So it's interesting for hygiene, for the user experience of navigating and free touch, and it opens up so many possibilities for you," he said.

For more on this story, watch the video in the media player above

Video editor • Aisling Ní Chúláin