This suite of sensors were developed for deployment in the Brain Opera performance space. Originally, we had intended to instrument the entire performance theater, in order to use audience motion in the music and graphics generation. Although these ideas evolved and eventually downscaled, the required sensor systems were actually developed for the Brain Opera, but are not yet implemented in the shows. They have been already used, however, at the Media Lab for several corridor installations.
A Sensor Floor, composed of a 6 x 10 foot mat surface atop a matrix of 64 pressure-sensitive piezoelectric (PVDF) wires, measures the position and intensity of footsteps, turning them into MIDI note events. The upper body motion is sensed above this region with a pair of quadrature-demodulated 2.4 GHz Doppler radars with beams formed by flat, 4-element micropatch arrays. These devices produce MIDI controller values corresponding to amount of motion, velocity, and direction of motion, projected normal to the radiators. In addition, an 8-channel MIDI-controlled ranging sonar system (using simple pulse-echo detection with 40 kHz piezoceramic heads and a TVG) has been developed to monitor remote distance to people and objects from 1 to 25 feet away.
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