Musical instruments often require intricate knowledge of complex fingerings and strings, but Sony has introduced a groundbreaking alternative, catering to those with limited motor skills. The company is now in the development phase of an AI-powered digital saxophone that boasts simplicity, akin to playing a cardboard tube, for the most part.
In line with the current trend among electronics manufacturers to make their devices more inclusive, Sony has taken a step forward in expanding accessibility to a broader audience. Earlier this year, Sony introduced the Access Controller, a highly adaptable accessory designed to enhance accessibility for PlayStation 5 gamers who may face challenges using the standard DualSense controller. At CEATAC 2023, Sony is now unveiling another innovation aimed at democratizing yet another hobby.
The Sony Ultra Light Saxophone prototype may not match the Access Controller’s level of customization, but it doesn’t need to. This instrument retains the iconic curved shape of a traditional saxophone, yet it eschews the multitude of keys and the slender mouthpiece with a wooden reed.
The Ultra Light Saxophone does include a mouthpiece, but players need only place it against their lips and hum the desired song. A built-in microphone captures the hummed notes and swiftly transmits them to the instrument’s internal electronics. These electronics, powered by advanced AI models, instantly convert the hummed sounds into authentic saxophone tones at the desired pitch.
It’s important to note that the Ultra Light Saxophone does not guarantee a flawless performance. If the player’s pitch varies significantly, the instrument’s output will mirror those fluctuations. While virtually anyone can start playing within minutes, becoming the next virtuoso like Kenny G will necessitate substantial practice and dedication.
Regrettably, unlike Sony’s PS5 Access Controller, there are currently no indications of plans to release the Ultra Light Saxophone to the general consumer market. At present, those of us less musically inclined will have to content ourselves with our trusty kazoos.