Extended Applications of the Wireless Sensor Array (WISEAR)

Topper, David

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

WISEAR (Wireless Sensor Array)8, provides a robust andscalable platform for virtually limitless types of data input tosoftware synthesis engines. It is essentially a Linux based SBC(Single Board Computer) with 802.11a/b/g wireless capability.The device, with batteries, only weighs a few pounds and can beworn by a dancer or other live performer. Past work has focusedon connecting "conventional" sensors (eg., bend sensors,accelerometers, FSRs, etc...) to the board and using it as a datarelay, sending the data as real time control messages to synthesisengines like Max/MSP and RTcmix1. Current research hasextended the abilities of the device to take real-time audio andvideo data from USB cameras and audio devices, as well asrunning synthesis engines on board the device itself. Given itsgeneric network ability (eg., being an 802.11a/b/g device) there istheoretically no limit to the number of WISEAR boxes that canbe used simultaneously in a performance, facilitating multiperformer compositions. This paper will present the basic design philosophy behindWISEAR, explain some of the basic concepts and methods, aswell as provide a live demonstration of the running device, wornby the author.