Neova is a connected ring that identifies extremely natural hand gestures and faithfully interprets each subtlety into musical expression. This MIDI controller can be freely assigned to any effect from your DAW or hardware synthesizer. It results in a purposeful tool enabling new forms of creativity.
“Years ago, I worked on a concept of interface designed with the aim of making musical awakening with disabled children. I had to face this big question: how to increase a person’s abilities so that each of his intentions becomes a sound? The answer was challenging the importance of movement in music to make sense of it. We finally found that the solution lies in the details.
Driven by the desire to push the boundaries of musical interaction, we sought a way to increase artists’ abilities. So we imagined an interface that would not replace an instrument, but will rather complete an instrument, an interface that interprets each micro gesture to give them meaning, Neova.”
– Damien Le Boulaire, Founder & CEO
Neova is composed of two elements:
- A ring used to capture movements
- A hub that connects to your computer via USB
The whole is natively recognized as a MIDI controller by your computer and interfaces with every major DAW. Neova identifies specific gestures using 9 motion sensors embedded in the ring. Since it is a MIDI controller, every gesture can independently be assigned to any parameter of your DAW or your Plugins. The only limitation is your imagination.
For a complete experience, we also developed Plume. This Plugin has been designed specifically for the ring and encases hundreds of sound presets natively mapped with the ring. It can also be used to encase others plugins and save a dedicated configuration.
The advanced settings view allows you to customize the MIDI messages of each gesture and adjust its sensibility curves and limits. Once your configuration is done, you can upload it to the hub. The hub can interface via MIDI with any instrument. This means it works with every hardware synth without a computer. Now place to the artist.
Since the very beginning, we adopted an usage-centered design approach. We have been closely working with over fifty musicians in order to capture the finesse of each individual with a particular attention on user intentions and usage patterns. We extracted 5 different movements that the ring can now identify. These movements were chosen because they tend to be natural gestures while playing a keyboard. This allows musicians to add expression to their play with minimal effort.
The perfect harmony
While Neova works as a standalone MIDI controller, the combination with Plume reveal the full potential of each product. Plume comes with selection of 200 inspiring sounds,made with one idea in mind: expressivity. Every gesture has been already assigned for you so you will not waste your time creating configurations. By simply scrolling presets, you can explore the richness of hundreds sounds while focusing on your creative workflow.
Plume has the singularity of being a host of plug-ins. This means that it can load any of your favorite virtual instrument to define assignations, load or save your own configuration presets. The power of every synthesizer now belongs to you!
Graduated from Strate College in 2000, followed by a multi-year career in an agency and then a company, Fabien decided to pursue his career as an independent to further expand his design practice. He is now writing some big collaborations with disruptive companies in the music industry like Arturia or Devialet.
Tracking every detail and looking for the perfect balance in the aesthetic equation of use, functions and industrial processes, he tirelessly pursues the path of desirability, one that makes us prefer one product over another.
During the NAMM Show in January 2018, several great musicians were able to try out our wired prototype for the first time:
A fast and easy way to develop wireless connectivity for embedded applications is the use of Bluetooth.
Indeed, Bluetooth has been designed to be universal and compatible with every device but it has never been thought for music applications. As a result, Bluetooth latency imposed by the standard has an average of 14.2ms.
Since this latency is not convenient for exigent musical performances and real-time gesture recognition, we decided to investigate to find more responsive solutions.
After a year of research and development, we finally developed our own wireless proprietary protocol and managed to reach an unparalleled sub-millisecond latency.
For more specific information, check out our article: Why Not Bluetooth?
For over a year, our prototyping path has been shaped by different iterations. Here is a summary of our product history :
- 1 – Proof of concept (MVP)
First version of our prototype, this has been used to test our value proposition and participate in contests. We have a strong emotional attachment to this baby which has grown up today.
- 2 – Wired Version (Testers)
This version is a robust product that has been sent to more than 50 individuals in order to collect feedbacks. Thank to them, we imagined new features, improved our software experience and made it more accurate.
- 3 – Looks Like Wired Version
This version embeds the electronics that fit into the final design of the ring. It has been used live during CES and NAMM Show by artists and testers.
First wireless version of the ring working on batteries. Based on the measures, this version provides more than 8 hours of autonomy and reach a sub-millisecond latency. We have been using it for more than a month now in real condition including live demonstrations in exhibitions like the SynthFest.
- 5 – Miniaturised Version (Current Iteration)
Our ultimate objective. This version is the fusion of the wireless prototype and the final design. We already made a version to consider the electronic form factor and components density reachable. We are now working with both our mechanical study office and electronic study office to make everything fit perfectly and ensure the manufacturability for mass production. According to our roadmap, this version is expected for June.
Our current wireless prototype is still quite bulky but it is fully functional! You can already use and configure every configure gesture and use it on any DAW with any MIDI Controller! Here is the prototype in action:
Audio Modeling is the incredible team behind the SWAM instruments. As groundbreaking craftsmen, they have selected the right well-honed tools and spent years finely tuning each constant of their software. The result is an outstanding digital work of art that sounds incredibly realistic and expressive.
Driven by the same vision, our teams have started collaborating to bring together unparalleled products that offer both expressive sound and control.
Neova and SWAM instruments are a perfect match. The expression you can get out of this combination is truly amazing. Enhancia and Audio Modeling will continue working together to bring these instruments to life. Exclusively for this Kickstarter campaign, you will be able to order the highly expressive and realistic SWAM Cello or SWAM Saxophones with a 25% discount!
Standard package includes:
- 1 Stone
- 1 Set of rings with 7 different sizes
- 1 Hub
- 1 USB cable
- 2 MIDI over jack converter
- 1 Plume software
Special package may also include:
- 1 License key for SWAM Cello
- 1 License key for SWAM Saxophones
Above all, Enhancia is a team. A committed and dynamic team that carries this project with energy and passion. Gathered around a common goal, we all believe that this little ring can bring a lot to musicians because sometimes there is beauty in simplicity.
It has been over a year since the adventure started and nothing would have been possible without the incredible people and structures who supported us. We never took enough time to tell them how much they have brought us and we would like to thank them for their time, mentorship and to have always been there for us. This is only the beginning of our adventure and we cannot wait for the next accomplishments we will reach together.
This section is a small tribute compared with what they have given us but we would like to dedicate it to them:
Christian Guicherd, Didier Tranchier, Jérémie Weber, David Lepiney, Grenoble-INP Phelma (Anne Vilcot, Christine Morales, George), Pépite Ozer (Rémi Rivollier), Pépite Starter (Kaouther Ghazouani), IncubaGEM (Martine Jimenez, Kathia Ronez, Jean-Claude Lemoine), Minalogic (Isabelle Guillaume, Philippe Wieczorek), Easytech (Damien Cohen), Fabien Deboves, Adrien Courdavault, Inventhys (Richard Phan, Isabelle Excoffier, Christophe Mühl), Phi Design (Frank Rousselin, Astrid Rousselin, Ghislain Janet-Maitre, Jonathan Del Rey), NCI (Marc Fernandez), Business Design Innovation (Sylvain Montreuil), Vertical Innovation (Clément Roulet, François Marty), Cabinet Beaumont (Esther Frey & Laurent Thibon), BBM & Associés (Attika Bellahcene, Laurent Cohn, Floriane Ralite, Raphaële Cartier, Renan Danerol), Allianz (Romain Bourbon, Stéphane Turin), St Gingembre (Alexis Dovera), CCI Grenoble (Agnès Dang), BPI (Francis Martin), GAIA (Jérémy Chollier), Banque Populaire des Alpes (Pierre Grandgonnet, Michel Pires), CIC (Sophie Seror), Région Rhône Alpes (Juliette Jarry, Annabel Andre Laurent), Business France (Francesco Plazzotta, Anne Dessemond), Invest in Grenoble (Sharon Rehbinder), Grex (Amandine Bastien), Marc Steiner, Fred Fieffé, Nate Bowman, Thomas Séraphin, Brent McCorkle, Daniel Weidlein, Marius Blanchard, Frédéric Delchambre, Eliott Tordo, Mehdi Touzani, Karl-König Königsson, Nathan Bernardin, Dylan Davenport, Pianotech (Christian Dugit-Pinat), Audio Modeling (Stefano Lucato, Emanuele Parravicini), Octavox Studio (Matthieu Budin), Maxime Calvez, Alicia Kayser, Coline Beulin, Célian Sisti, Théophane Douet, Lo-An Villot, Clément Oddos, Léo Delepierre, Hugo Vinit.