Reading the title of this review you’ll probably think that Apple have bought out another device in the form of a ring. Unfortunately this isn’t the case but instead we have the IK Multimedia iRing, which is a motion controller for iPhone and iPad music applications. The iRing uses your own hand gestures to control different effects and other settings within applications so you’re effectively creating music just by moving your hands. The rings are tracked using your devices camera and therefore you must ensure that you have good lighting.
In the box you’ll receive two iRings, each is double sided. One of the sides is triangular shaped with three dots shaped the same, while the other side also has three dots but arranged in a line. With both of the iRings equipped you can control up to six different parameters at once. You’re probably thinking that there aren’t many apps around which support this technology but iRing have two of their own including iRing Music Maker and iRing FX/Controller. In addition to these apps the iRings are also compatible with Groovemaker 2 and the popular DJ Rig app. IK Multimedia also have SDK and licensing program which allows other app developers to create applications which are compatible with their product.
The two rings are actually made from plastic but are still very solid and strong. Once you’ve bought a pair of iRings and actually see what you get in the box you may be left a little baffled at where your money has actually gone. You must remember though that this product isn’t just hardware and behind all of the software their is a hardworking team who create this. You won’t be asked for more money when downloading the apps thankfully as these are available completely free of charge. It must aso be said that the so called ‘iRings’ aren’t actually rings, but instead they sit between your fingers.
Before creating your first melody you’ll have to register your rings and you can then get straight to it. Each hand gesture will create a different sound or effect and this ranges from simply twisting your hand to opening and closing it. When testing we found that both the hardware and software worked best on the iPad opposed to an iPhone. We tested them in the same lighting conditions, wearing the same clothes etc but the iPhone did sometimes struggle to actually recognize the iRings. The iPad on the other hand worked seamlessly and we had great fun playing around with the different apps.
The iRings offer a new and fun way to create music with your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch although the iPad does seem to work best. The only limiting factor with the IK Multimedia iRings that we can see is the amount of applications that support them. It is purely down to developers to integrate the software needed into their applications. If this is received well then we could see some great and really interesting applications that use the technology. At the moment though these are simply a fun and interesting way to interact with music apps on your Apple devices.
The iRings cost $25 and you check them out by clicking the link below.Visit the IK Multimedia website