Hand-Controller for Combined Tactile Control and Motion Tracking

Pardue, Laurel and Sebastian, William

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The Hand Controller is a new interface designed to enable a performer toachieve detailed control of audio and visual parameters through a tangibleinterface combined with motion tracking of the hands to capture large scalephysical movement. Such movement empowers an expressive dynamic for bothperformer and audience. However tracking movements in free space isnotoriously difficult for virtuosic performance. The lack of tactile feedbackleads to difficulty learning the repeated muscle movements required for precisecontrol. In comparison, the hands have shown an impressive ability to mastercomplex motor tasks through feel. The hand controller uses both modes ofinteraction. Electro-magnetic field tracking enables 6D hand motion trackingwhile two options provide tactile interaction- a set of tracks that providelinear positioning and applied finger pressure, or a set of trumpet like sliderkeys that provide continuous data describing key depth. Thumbs actuateadditional pressure sensitive buttons. The two haptic interfaces are mountedto a comfortable hand grip that allows a significant range of reach, andpressure to be applied without restricting hand movement highly desirable inexpressive motion.