ROLI launches LUMI smart keyboard and app

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More people are listening to music than ever before because of music streaming, but only a tiny proportion play a musical instrument regularly. ROLI, the London-based startup behind ‘new’ instruments, Seaboard and BLOCKS, is aiming to change this with LUMI, billed as ‘the world’s first truly smart way for everyone to learn and play music’.

LUMI combines LUMI Keys, a fully illuminated keyboard, and the LUMI app that features a curated library of hundreds of hit songs — all in one colourful, interactive experience. Players choose a song in the app, follow the lights on LUMI Keys, and start playing immediately, learning music as they go.

The first fully modular portable keyboard, LUMI Keys can double or triple in size just by magnetically snapping multiple keyboards together. Powered by ROLI’s Brightkey technology, LUMI Keys features the brightest RGB illuminated keys ever made. The instrument weighs less than an iPad Pro and fits in a backpack.

The combination of the LUMI app with LUMI Keys creates a highly engaging learning platform on which players can:

  • Pick a song: Choose from hundreds of songs from pop hits to classical favourites
  • Play along: Follow the keys as they light up, one by one, with the notes of the song.
  • Jam: Improvise in real time. The notes and chords in the song’s scale light up on LUMI Keys, so players can jam along like they’re in the band.
  • Choose a view: Progress from simple to advanced ways to read music.
  • Learn: Learn through playing, then take a more structured approach. Fun, fast lessons in the LUMI app cover scales, chords, playing techniques, and other music basics.

Instruments themselves are not smart enough

Roland Lamb, founder and CEO of ROLI, said:

‘Many people would love to play an instrument but worry that they don’t have the talent.

‘Through our research, design, and innovation at ROLI, we’ve come to believe that the problem is not a lack of talent. Rather, instruments themselves are not smart enough.

‘What excites me most is that the intelligence of LUMI means that there’s something in it for everyone. On one hand my own kids now prefer LUMI time to movie time. On the other hand, several of the world’s leading keyboard players can’t wait to use LUMI in the studio and on the stage.’


LUMI is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter until July 17. It ships in October 2019. Visit the Kickstarter page to learn more.

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