Eowave has introduced another product in their line of sensor to MIDI interfaces called the Eobody2 HF, a wireless sensor to USB MIDI device. Building on the user-friendly and rock solid USB MIDI technology used in other recent Eobody boards, the HF allows you to place interactive sensor electronics on dancers, small objects, or anything else where cables would get in the way. Now that we have some of these in stock at the Cycling ’74 office, I sat down to give them a thorough run-through to see how it all works.
The Eobody2 HF comes in 2 parts, a receiver that plugs into a USB port, and the transmitter – a small battery-powered box with 3-pin header style connections for up to 16 analog sensors.
Setting up the board for a test was easy, especially since I had already put together some sensors for my OEM board review. Since the HF uses the same 3-pin style connections for sensors, it is easy to reuse sensors designed for the OEM USB Board, Kroonde Gamma, or similar interfaces. It is also pretty straightforward to wire your own sensors from other sources. Once I had my sensors connected, it was simply a matter of plugging in the receiver, turning on the transmitter, and starting up the Eobody Editor on my computer. The Editor is a straightforward interface to configure the inputs of the transmitter, and allows for different types of signal conditioning before it is converted to MIDI. Once you have a configuration you like, it can be sent to the HF and stored in non-volatile memory. This means that every time you start the board up, your configuration will be automatically loaded.
Inside of Max, the HF shows up as a standard MIDI device, so there is no need for special objects to decipher the input. It was a breeze connecting input from the Eobody 2HF to an existing patch. All in all, it took me about 10 minutes to get my 4 sensors connected, configured, and tossing data to a Max patch.
Once it’s all setup, you can run and jump and spin around the room all you like, taking full advantage of the freedom that a wireless interface allows you. My co-workers were very obliging while I jumped off their desks and bounced around the office in my efforts to test the range and responsiveness of the very lightweight transmitter. Despite my general preference for the security of a wired connection, I had to admit that wireless is really fun, and kind of liberating. It’s much easier to thrash around the room when you aren’t tangled up in wire.
In conclusion, the Eobody2 HF is a great option for anyone looking for an easy to use, configurable, and highly responsive wireless sensor interface. It is an obvious solution for dancers and other performers looking for a little more freedom from wires. To learn more, check out the Eobody2 HF at eowave.com. For a more in-depth look at the core technology of the Eobody line, be sure to read my review of the OEM USB Board.