The original Drancing accelerometer suit (since 1997)

The content or the technology discussed here is HISTORICAL or ARCHIVAL

Photo of the original Drancing accelerometer suit

Photo of the original Drancing accelerometer suit

The original Drancing prototype used 5 triaxial accelerometers in a "body star" formation in a suit and a cable for data transfer.

Video: Drancing suit 2002: variable frequency + variable amplitude mode

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The (X,Y,Z) channels of five 3D accelerometers vary the amplitudes and the frequencies of 5 x 3 = 15 pure sinusoidal oscillators.

One can hear "beat" frequencies generated by similar frequencies corresponding to different accelerometer channels, such as when the arms are raised to similar levels, which effect can be exploited for musical nuance and for movement therapy to measure symmetry of posture.

Drancing suit accelerometer magnitude signals with drum triggers

Drancing suit accelerometer magnitude signals with drum triggers

From around 1997, low-level C++ graphics showing Drancing suit accelerometer signals as RMS of (X,Y,Z) channels, with trigger thresholds, and trigger-off time (in red) after drum trigger. This is the original "Drumming-by-Dancing" mode after which Drancing was named. External MIDI drum machine samples were triggered.

DranceWare: Java3D: "body star" accelerometer suit interaction animation

DranceWare: Java3D: "body star" accelerometer suit interaction animation

The Drancing sensor suit has 5 triaxial accelerometers. The position of each of the Java3D 6-colour cubes is displaced according to the signals of a 3D accelerometer. The effect is different from motion-capture animation, there is no direct relationship between distance of movement of the performer and the displacement distance.

Drancing "The amazing musical motion sensing suit"

Drancing "The amazing musical motion sensing suit"

A poster from circa 2003 describing various applications of Drancing.

Alternative strategies for concealing cables in the Drancing accelerometer suit

Alternative strategies for concealing cables in the Drancing accelerometer suit

For some time I experimented with various costumes and techniques for concealing and embedding cables from the accelerometers to the data transmission hub. In the approach shown here "Tubigrip" elastic bandages are used to hold the cables close to the performer's skin, with gaps at the elbows and knees for flexion/extension.

An accelerometer sensor can just be seen near the wrist of the performer under the bandage. When loose costumes are worn over the top, the sensor is completely hidden, so the audience is completely unaware how the sound is being generated.

Pros:

  • Many different costumes can be worn during one show over the top of the sensor layer.
  • Very robust and secure.

Cons:

  • Quite fiddly to put on compared with simply getting into a pre-wired suit.

The vision: a Drancer with wireless data telemetry of accelerometer signals

The vision: a Drancer with wireless data telemetry of accelerometer signals

A crude 3D conception from about 1997 of a "Drancer" accelerometer music performer with wireless data telemetry. I immediately realised that cable transmission of accelerometer data compromised the very freedom of movement over a large area that accelerometers (as opposed to motion capture position detection) afford.

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