Nektar

January 23, 2017 | 5:23 pm

Tuner pageProject team: Chun Err Chai, Nikki Chen, Vivek Claver, Sijia Scarlett Teng

Course: Interactive Device Design, fall 2016

Many people want to learn guitar, but beginners often give up early on. Nektar aims to address this by empowering anyone to play songs: this interactive, low-cost device uses laser projection to illuminate specific chord positions, providing intuitive visual guidance that beginning guitar players can follow. These chord positions change dynamically as the user-selected song progresses, and the projections’ speed can be controlled by the user to match their individual learning preferences as they play along with the audio.

Nektar’s operation centers on a revolving mirror that spins about its horizontal axis rapidly. In order to achieve this, a mirror frame is mounted onto the shaft of a high-speed motor, with its angular position tracked using a high resolution motor encoder. When the orientation of the mirror reaches its desired angular position, individual laser diodes are then switched on for a short instant, illuminating a particular fret on the guitar fingerboard. As the mirror revolves rapidly, the lasers are then pulsed at a sufficiently high frequency to create a continuous illumination for the human eye — guiding users through their favorite songs.

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Want to learn more about Nektar and its designers? Check out:

Vivek Claver on LinkedIn

Scarlett Teng on LinkedIn