We are a mixed reality app that provides an easy, fun and intuitive alternative to learning the piano. Using virtual reality headsets, users can play along without having to read sheet music.
Dominik Hackl, founder of Magic Keys, had been a passionate pianist since childhood when he first encountered an augmented reality headset while studying game development at university. “I thought it could be the perfect platform for learning a musical instrument,” he says. However, Dominik’s idea of projecting 3D notes over a piano keyboard and the player’s hands was not possible on the hardware available in 2017. And as a startup, Magic Keys has faced similar challenges in working with evolving technology. “You can’t just google stuff and find how other people did it, because you’re probably one of the first,” says Dominik.
By late 2021, the headset technology was advanced enough and Dominik filmed himself playing along with the 3D notation. The video went viral and Facebook/Meta included it in their major rebranding presentation. Meta also gave Dominik a developer grant, which enabled him to launch Magic Keys as a startup and to hire a part-time employee. In 2022, Magic Keys was accepted into the tech2b incubator program, where Dominik has a mentor to help him with the marketing and sales side of the business. The Magic Keys beta app was launched in 2022 and the user feedback has been valuable in determining the company’s revenue model. Dominik says feedback from parents showing their children playing the piano using the app has been particularly motivating.
- Founding the company in November 2021.
- Being featured in Facebook’s Meta rebrand and Metaverse launch in 2021.
- Joining the tech2b incubator in 2022.
- Launching the public beta version of the app across app stores in 2022.
Main Photo by: Antje Wolm