For the final major project for my MA course my group and I decided to take a risk and challenge ourselves even more than we usually do. After an extended research and numerous concept drafts we decided to go for our interactive dancefloor idea.
As usual I was responsible for the technical development of our concept. My tasks were the technical research, planning the installation setup, and coding the project based on the developed UX design and interaction design.
WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM?
Initially we intended to create an interactive installation for elderly people. The inspiration for that idea derived from Peter Lovatt’s TED talk we have seen at Sadler’s Wells in March 2012. He communicated the theory, which I believe is true, that people of all ages but especially the older ones can improve not only their physical constitution with the help of dancing. What is more, they can train and revitalise their memory by rendering the choreographies they are taught.
But how can an interactive installation encourage people to dance? What can the installation do what an instructor might not be able to do? What would set our idea apart from all the other already existing dance application, such as games for xBox and Wii?
Considering these and more questions we created DanSpire.
FINAL CONCEPT OUTLINE
DanSpire is an interactive project with the intention to make friends realize their interest in dance, so they can go and enroll for dance classes together as opposed to alone. This gives them confidence and increases their comfort level as well. It lets the user get used to the idea that it is OK to go wrong and make mistakes! Making mistakes is fun!
User Group: People who want to learn partner based dance but have a problem in finding a partner in a group of friends
Solution: To create an experience of dancing for a group of friends to encourage them to dance helping them find common interests in dance and give them a partner based experience.
For generating a user interface on the floor DanSpire uses two projectors which help to reduce interferences caused by the users’ shadows. The multiple projections are redirected downwards by acrylic mirrors.
For tracking the users a Kinect is set up facing downwards above the dance floor as centric as possible – paying attention to not blocking the projections. For screening the dance demonstrations a rear projector is connected to a second computer. The dance experience is being secretly recorded automatically by a third application, which can be watched on the kiosk computer and the user to e-mail themselves a link to the video as well. All applications were built in openFrameworks and communicate via an XBee point-to-multipoint network.