Kjetil Falkenberg Hansen

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden (bio)

Gesture control on a budget - music interaction using few sensors and small movements


Sometimes, in certain situations, sound interaction don’t need or cannot support large or rich gestures from the user. It can be a musical instrument that should only be played discreetly without revealing the movements of the player, or it can be an adapted interface for physically disabled persons with restricted motor control. It can also be that gesture tracking is limited to only a few sensors or using low-precision sensors. In this presentation some experiences from two projects where small or limited gestures were used to control sound generation will be discussed. In one project we have worked with children that have very restricted movement or motor control, where we had to constantly ensure that the incoming sensor data controlled the sound as intended. For the second project an opera singer was equipped with a glove to expressively alter the voice in real-time by flexing his wrist, even when the costume design put great restrictions on the freedom of movement. The main challenge of working with limited movements was in the first case to acquire usable control data. In the second case the challenge was to use the small and controlled gesture as efficiently as possible.