Wear-emin, a compact, digital music synthesizer that is controlled through hand motions designed to replicate those normally used to operate a traditional Theremin as to best provide an experience similar to operating a classic Theremin as possible. The Wear-emin is paired with a web application that provides the user with an interface that helps users to learn how to use the device and become more proficient in using it by giving them visual feedback for their actions.


4 members


2 months


Javascript, Sketch, Photon Microcontroller Kit


Concept Design, Prototyping, Programming

Design Process


The motivation for this idea comes from both an interest in games and game design among the members of our group as well as from the Fun Theory Initiative by Volkswagen. Fun Theory is a gamification-styled initiative to encourage people to do good things by making the tasks more fun to perform.

We brainstormed the raw idea and came up with rough sketches and the design plan for the device and the web application for it.

Ideation Session


The Photon micro-controller is used to govern the device’s operations as well as connect to an associated web application that may access and display the Wear-emin’s output via WiFi. The integrated accelerometer inside the IMU returns metrics detailing the user’s movement, whose values are in turn mapped to controlling the pitch of the sound to be produced by the Wear-emin. The proximity sensor takes in infrared light to gauge the distance between the user's thumb and the sensor’s lenses. The last major component is the piezoelectric speaker, a simple buzzer from which all of the sounds produced by the Wear-emin are emitted.

Note: Please check the Paper on the project for detailed working.


Web Application

The web application was designed to provide visual feedback to the user about the notes being played based on the input the application gets from the proximity sensor via the Photon.

The web application contains an array of 8 blank rounded rectangles that represent each note in an octave. As the user plays the Wear-emin, whichever note the user is currently playing will be colored in.

Web Application

Prototype Demo

Check out the working prototype!

Live Demo!