Shop for a new wrist­watch these days, and you’ll find the latest models souped up with tech­nolo­gies like GPS capa­bil­i­ties and solar-​​powered bat­teries. Now, thanks to a North­eastern under­grad­uate and a free­lance soft­ware devel­oper, you could own a watch that trans­lates your move­ments into music.

The tech­nology was devel­oped by North­eastern com­puter sci­ence and music tech­nology dual major Robby Grodin and free­lance soft­ware devel­oper Lindsey Mysse at the recent Boston Music Hack Day, one of a series of music tech­nology inno­va­tion events held in cities around the world. Grodin and Mysse’s appli­ca­tion inter­prets the wearer’s move­ments using the music pro­gram­ming lan­guage Max/​MSP. They dubbed it the Toscanini Ges­tural Inter­face and made it avail­able for free down­load on their website.

Click here to read a Boston Globe article about Grodin’s software.

Here’s how it works: Existing parts of the watch called accelerom­e­ters com­mu­ni­cate the move­ments to a com­puter using musical data sig­nals called MIDI, or Musical Instru­ment Dig­ital Inter­face. Grodin and Mysses’s application—Toscanani— then trans­lates the sig­nals into music that plays on your computer.

Ron Smith, an asso­ciate pro­fessor of music tech­nology in Northeastern’s Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design, teaches inter­ac­tive real-​​time per­for­mance, where Grodin honed his music tech­nology skills. Smith also served as Grodin’s mentor during Music Hack Day.

He noted that while “the his­tory of using gad­gets in this way goes back sev­eral decades, the gad­gets them­selves tended to be more cum­ber­some to use.” But with “novel inno­va­tions like this watch, they are now becoming more and more portable.”

Right now the watch requires that you figure out what motions create which notes as you go along, but Grodin hopes his cre­ation will con­tinue to evolve. He also hopes it will serve as a gateway into the niche industry of music soft­ware devel­op­ment. He and Mysse plan to man­u­fac­ture a chip that could be used on the end of a violin bow or on a pianist’s hands, or that could be inte­grated into per­for­mance art or even the motions you make while dri­ving a car.

The pos­si­bil­i­ties, we think are end­less,” Grodin said. “We wanted this to be a very open-​​ended project that allows the users to come with their own way of inter­preting its use.”