Holon Is An App That Turns Movement Into Synth Music

We're used to moving to the music, but what about making music from our movement? If you were at Superbooth this year you may have experienced Holon doing just that.  

It's hard not to crack a smile when Holon starts creating music to match a person's movements. There's something entertaining, almost mesmerising, when seeing how a synth interprets human movement and attempts to make music, not just sound, from it. That's what the iOS app, Holon, sets out to do.

Here's the press release from Holon which explains the how... and scroll down for the video to see Holon in action at Superbooth 2018:

Holon is an auditory mixed reality app that couples movement with sound using sensors and IoT data. Holon uses functional feedback to create an immersive music experience that adapts to any context.

Holonic Systems, a Finnish-Belgian developer, has released the first version of functional music app Holon for iOS. The world’s first auditory mixed reality app controlled by biomechanical movement is available on the App Store, with support for Apple Watch (Series 2 or newer) and Suunto Movesense smart sensors.

Holon is the first consumer product of Holonic Systems, created using their forthcoming Holon.ist open world music engine. Holon allows users to control a synthesis engine with their biomechanical movement and biosignals - their behaviour. Users become a physical part of the musical circuitry in a process known as embodiment.

Additionally, Holon enables multi-user participation, as it features an advanced Ableton Link implementation that also synchronises Holon with external hardware and software instruments.

Holon is based on principles of affective design and biomusicology and puts the user in the centre of an open world of interactive audio. Holon provides a synthetic musical accompaniment that is closely linked to your biology, environment and level of activity. Holon combines sensor data from different sources with synthesis parameters to create a perceptually grounded functional music experience.

Holon sensors

“Holon couples motion with sound in an immersive, physical experience that supports and encourages you to move in different ways. As most music consumption is based around the function it provides, such as entrainment, isolation or mood regulation, we figured that using the motor system to create adaptive, abstract synth music works better than playlists”, says Holonic Systems’ CEO, Ove Holmqvist. “Motor control beats button control”, he adds.

Holon is a passive app that leaves your hands free, resulting in reduced screen time, increased awareness, better posture and improved gait. Functional feedback can improve focus, motivation, endurance and performance during exercise. Holon can also be used for relaxation, yoga, meditation, dance or anything involving motion or micromovements.

Holon is a groundbreaking concept that has many applications for sports, rehabilitation, music therapy and everyday health, for example, when used in active commuting.

Holon Apple Watch app.

Notable Features:

  • step rate controlled drums
  • heart rate sonification and tempo control*
  • automaticvehiclemusification
  • solar/lunar tracking and panning
  • local weather sequence
  • position and speed modulation
  • altitude FX
  • multiuser mode based on Ableton Link
  • Apple Watch app

*Additional devices, such as the waterproof and shockproof 9-axis Suunto Movesense smart sensor, add features and many more interactions to the experience.

Minimum system requirements:
A data plan, headphones, iOS 11 and an iPhone 6 or later are required to use Holon.

Pricing and Availability

Holon is available to download immediately, in all Apple App Stores.

Download: itunes.apple.com/app/holon/id1352687747?mt=8

Holon is currently free of charge, but for complete functional biofeedback, Apple Watch (Series 2 or newer) and Suunto Movesense sensors can be enabled through an In-App Purchase (IAP), each EUR 4,49 / USD 4.99

Suunto Movesense smart sensors and accessories can be purchased from: www.movesense.com/shop
Cost of individual sensors start from EUR 39,50 + VAT + delivery.


Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


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