Squishy Recognition for Performance and Sensing

October 17th, 2012 By NOTAndrew Quitmeyer

The Project that I would like to pitch for our midterm builds off my previous design challenge for the Sean Curran Dance Company. I want to suggest explorations of the Disney Research Touche system for applications beyond HCI gesture-detection. I wish to examine this technology in areas of human and animal performance and in conjunction with feedback systems from other technologies like computer vision or actuation. The proposal consists of three parts:

  • Building our own Touche system with Arduinos
  • Testing Touche directly with alternative applications
  • Experimenting with Touche feedback systems
The core activity of the class will be using the system to experiment and conduct many small performances.

Build a system

First we would build a couple of systems with the instructable about the Touche system: http://www.instructables.com/id/Singing-plant-Make-your-plant-sing-with-Arduino-/

Then we would thrash the system to determine its responsiveness, robustness, and noisyness. We would probably reimplment a lot of their gestural examples to see how it actually functions minus all the hype.

Alternate Applications

Once we have a better, tacit understand of how the device can work, we can try experimenting! Here are some suggestions I have thought of.


It will be interesting to incorporate feedback into the system. This can be done directly, as with the proposed puppetry idea where actuators would manipulate a plant to make the Touche sensor recognize a particular gesture. It can also be indirectly, where a performative system (like a human or animal) recieves the feedback from the sensor (like in sonification) and the system alters itself accordingly.


Two interesting technologies to tie in would be, actuation and computer vision. The CV and Touche system could readily augment each other since they collect complementary data.

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