Member 185
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Patrick Tierney (M, 34)
Princeton, US
Immortal since Oct 7, 2007
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    Interactive Performances: A call to action

    While other space collective members have called for interactive performances, as of yet nothing yet has materialized. I'm writing this post because I have a tested plan that will do just that.

    Check it out:

    In case the hand-drawn block diagram and circuit schematics didn't make it clear to you, this is how it works:

    1. Before a show, a group of dashing individuals makes a couple thousand electronic instruments. Each one costs about a dollar, and is capable of picking up changes in acceleration (swinging it, hitting it, etc. ), and can broadcast this information wirelessly to a central computer. (Glow stick not required )

    2. Hand out a sensor device to everyone who attends the event.

    3. As people swing, hit, and play with their instruments, the information is transmitted to a DJ, who can turn this information into sounds. The system distinguishes where the signals are coming from, so different groups of dancers will make different sounds.

    Cost: $1 per person attending (cheap) !

    So, does anyone have a couple thousand dollars and a warehouse they can spare?

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    alborz     Thu, Jul 17, 2008  Permanent link
    Hey, I sure hope so.

    I like the idea that the music emerges once a critical mass is reached.
    josh     Fri, Jul 18, 2008  Permanent link
    now the question remains, where can we get the materials to make one of these fancy devices? i see the schema here, but would be more interested in having a device to actually purchase.

    there are plenty of things that you could do with the data. aside from creating music, you could create the visuals instead. control the lights/video/processing instead which would probably lend to more productive results!
    HackerLastPip     Fri, Jul 18, 2008  Permanent link
    Most of the materials can be purchased from online suppliers such as Digi-Key/Mouser, but the wireless transmitters have to be special ordered. Some materials the group used are no longer in production, but have equivalents that simply need to be researched.

    Good point about the visuals/lighting. The whole environment could be wired to respond to dancing!

    I'd agree that someone should manufactured these, besides removing a lot of work, large scale production would help bring down costs.
    richard     Fri, Jul 18, 2008  Permanent link
    This is great. Thanks for sharing. It reaches towards an ultimate, which is dirt cheap manufacturing of useful electronics. Before this, I had thought that the Loud Object Noise toy was impressive - a minimal battery powered microcontroller circuit - but this blows it away. It reminds me of experiments with RFID tags. I know Beatriz Da Costa has done some work with these before - 

    On RFID cards are $2 and the readers are about $30. RFID cards can be used to detect presence. I wonder if they could be used in some sort of performance too.

    Back to the device you posted though, there is a lot of potential for uses and expansion. If for example, the resources to reproduce the exact design are not available, an alternative maybe slightly bigger device could be created. Perhaps this alternative bigger device would strap the the waste of the user and have a wired external sensor. If the resources are not available to produce 1000 of these for X cents each, maybe 10 of them could be created for 5 dollars each, which would still create an interesting situation for performance.
    notthisbody     Sun, Sep 14, 2008  Permanent link
    We're involved in a project that's a multi-sensory interactive travelling exhibition. I like the sound of what you're saying. At night, the exhibition will be opened up as a "club" of sorts. This project sounds like we could do it there. Keep in contact.