Designing a Multi-Touch eTextile for Music Performances

Donneaud, Maurin and Honnet, Cedric and Strohmeier, Paul

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We present a textile pressure sensor matrix, designed to be used as a musical multi-touch input device. An evaluation of our design demonstrated that the sensors pressure response profile fits a logarithmic curve (R = 0.98). The input delay of the sensor is 2.1ms. The average absolute error in one direction of the sensor was measured to be less than 10% of one of the matrix’s strips (M = 1.8mm, SD = 1.37mm). We intend this technology to be easy to use and implement by experts and novices alike: We ensure the ease of use by providing a host application that tracks touch points and passes these on as OSC or MIDI messages. We make our design easy to implement by providing open source software and hardware and by choosing evaluation methods that use accessible tools, making quantitative comparisons between different branches of the design easy. We chose to work with textile to take advantage of its tactile properties and its malleability of form and to pay tribute to textile’s rich cultural heritage.