IoT and Music

IoT applications in the music industry go far beyond smart speakers and wearables. Sergey Bludov, SVP of Media and Entertainment Practice at DataArt, explains how IoT impacts composing, performance and recording, and much more.

Sergey Bludov
Woman listening to music on headphones
Illustration: © IoT For All

The Internet of Things (IoT) evolved from a lofty concept to a prevalent reality in a relatively short amount of time. IoT technology brings intelligence to objects and devices that are connected to the internet to alter virtually every aspect of our personal and business activities. From connected cars and smart thermostats to microwaves capable of measuring the weight of food and cooking it accordingly, the Internet of Things saves us time and money while making our lives more convenient and enjoyable. Smart cities, such as Amsterdam, Dubai and Singapore, have taken these concepts further by utilizing IoT to radically improve the management of traffic, energy usage, water consumption and more, beautifully illustrating the incredible possibilities that this technology brings to our world.

IoT’s Impact on the Music Industry

According to Gartner predictions, there will be 20 billion connected things by the year 2020. IoT’s reach is far and wide, resulting in a dramatic impact on business operations and creative endeavors in the music industry. When considering IoT’s applications in music, most people will think of smart speakers, wearables and smart home devices used for streaming songs. However, while these advancements are undoubtedly significant, the music industry is embracing IoT technologies to a much greater degree, with innovative applications being discussed and developed at a rapid pace. The concept of the Internet of Musical Things (IoMusT) is upon us, showing the wonderful impact this technology can have on our industry.

Practical Applications of the Internet of Musical Things

The IoMusT carries the potential to contribute to the music industry in a multitude of ways, including smart instruments, performance and recording enhancement, assistance in composing, advanced streaming recommendations and much more.

Prizm is a connected device with one aim: picking the perfect music to play for you in every scenario. The technology takes a person’s interactions with the device and uses this data to learn what music they prefer in different contexts. Prizm is even able to recognize the people in the room and sense their mood to allow the device to alter the music selection to suit each particular situation.

For musicians or other music enthusiasts who are drawn to new technologies, Arterfacts offers a smart musical instrument connected to IoT. The Liverpool-based startup’s innovation enables people to play various instruments , such as the keyboard, percussion, wind and string , either through an attached touchscreen and mouthpiece or through movement. This amazing device can be configured differently to match the way each physical instrument would be played, thereby mimicking the real thing without the need to make additional purchases.

Thanks to Music: Not Impossible (M:NI), deaf music fans can feel vibrations through their skin that provide what the company refers to as a true “surround body” experience. The collaboration between Avnet and Not Impossible Labs developed a wireless wearable system that creates zero-latency vibrations, thereby allowing the user to attend a live concert with the feelings being perfectly in sync with the music being played.

Although remote recording isn’t brand new, IoT solutions offer incredible advancements to this concept. Ohm Studio is a music production application dedicated to providing musicians with the ability to make music over the internet, allowing, for example, a band to record a song together while they are physically in different studios in various locations around the world.

Concerns and Threats

Unfortunately, as is the case with everything on the internet, IoT carries the risk of privacy and security vulnerabilities. As we all know from the news, hackers can cause terrible havoc when data is accessed by the wrong people, leading to the loss of privacy, identity theft, intellectual property infringement and many other damaging results. The Internet of Things, and therefore the Internet of Musical Things, generates enormous volumes of data, and this mountain of information is growing exponentially. The importance of implementing comprehensive security measures cannot be overstated, and fortunately, experts in the field are working diligently to reduce the potential for data privacy breaches to stay ahead of those who attempt to cause harm.

The Internet of Musical Things will continue to amaze and dazzle us with its potential, as a growing number of startups and other industry players jump on board to take this technology to its absolute limits. And I’m thrilled to be on the ride to see what’s next!

What are your thoughts about the Internet of Musical Things? Please share your opinions in the comments below.

Sergey Bludov
Sergey Bludov
SVP, Media & Entertainment at DataArt. Technology expert, ensuring execution & delivery of high-profile projects for the music business & entertainment industry.
SVP, Media & Entertainment at DataArt. Technology expert, ensuring execution & delivery of high-profile projects for the music business & entertainment industry.