Boston: The Hidden Hub of Music and Technology

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Headquarters: Cambridge, MA
Year Launched: 1995
CEO : Alex Rigopulos
CTO: Eran Egozy
Funding: Acquired in 2006 by MTV Networks, a division of Viacom

Few people could explain the relationship between the cult hit video game Guitar Hero and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But Harmonix, maker of Guitar Hero, is actually a spinoff of the MIT Media Lab, where founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Ergozy met while working in the computer music group. The pair’s first products included a Theremin-like device for Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center that allowed users to make music simply by waving their hands in the air. In 2001 and 2003 the company published Frequency and Amplitude, respectively, addictive “rhythm-action” games for the Sony Playstation. The company’s breakthrough hits, Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II, turn air-guitar experts into real players who must compete with the game to strum specified tunes on a special guitar-like game controller. Anticipation of the company’s next title, the networked multiplayer game Rock Band, is at a fever pitch. It’s designed for both the Playstation3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and is expected in time for the 2007 holidays. … Next Page »

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Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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