Towards fast multi-point force and hit detection in tabletops using mechanically intercoupled force sensing resisors

Bosi, Mathieu and Jordà, Sergi

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Tangible tabletop musical interfaces allowing for a collabo-rative real-time interaction in live music performances are one of the promising fields in NIMEs. At present, this kind of interfaces present at least some of the following charac-teristics that limit their musical use: latency in the inter-action, and partial or complete lack of responsiveness to gestures such as tapping, scrubbing or pressing force. Our current research is exploring ways of improving the quality of interaction with this kind of interfaces, and in particular with the tangible tabletop instrument Reactable . In this paper we present a system based on a circular array of me-chanically intercoupled force sensing resistors used to obtain a low-latency, affordable, and easily embeddable hardware system able to detect surface impacts and pressures on the tabletop perimeter. We also consider the option of com-pleting this detected gestural information with the sound information coming from a contact microphone attached to the mechanical coupling layer, to control physical modelling synthesis of percussion instruments.