Music is a joy – until you start learning how to play it. Then it can be difficult and demoralising. Unless, that is, you practise with Amped, an app that algorithmically transforms bum notes into tuneful ones.

Created by Finnish-Swedish startup Zoundio, Amped deconstructs harmony and chord structure to blend users’ playing with existing tracks. The first instrument it’s designed for is the electric guitar. Plug in, follow the lessons, and even if the reality is hesitant or jarring, it sounds good through your headphones.

Amped is an example of aural – not visual – augmented reality (AR). Mistakes on Amped aren’t erased completely; when you miss a beat or a chord, you’ll hear a discordant note. But because the overall effect is good rather than bad, you hear what you wished you sounded like, so your motivation doesn’t fall away.

Read more: Listen up: augmented reality is coming to your ears

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Published by Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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Listen up: augmented reality is coming to your ears

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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