SWARMED: Captive Portals, Mobile Devices, and Audience Participation in Multi-User Music Performance

Hindle, Abram

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Audience participation in computer music has long been limited byresources such as sensor technology or the material goods necessary toshare such an instrument. A recent paradigm is to take advantageof the incredible popularity of the smart-phone, a pocket sizedcomputer, and other mobile devices, to provide the audience aninterface into a computer music instrument. In this paper we discuss amethod of sharing a computer music instrument’s interface with anaudience to allow them to interact via their smartphone. We propose amethod that is relatively cross-platform and device-agnostic, yetstill allows for a rich user-interactive experience. By emulating acaptive-portal or hotspot we reduce the adoptability issues and configurationproblems facing performers and their audience. We share ourexperiences with this system, as well as an implementation of thesystem itself.