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Emo-Capsule » Dance Mat

Archive for the ‘Dance Mat’ Category


Friday, May 25th, 2007

Stepmania is an open source version of DDR. I play it at home with a standard PS2 dance mat (~$25 at future shop) and use a PS2 -> USB adapter (also ~$25 at video game type stores). I was thinking that the dance mat might be an interesting form of gesture-input. There are 8+ buttons on the mat and each arrow could be replaced (covered) with an emotion. I’ve read a few places that emotions can be classified as combinations of main categories of emotions. In this way, the user could jump on multiple emotions simultaneously to produce a resulting emotion, or simply step on one of the emotion categories. It would be dead simple to implement with pure processing, but I still think it might be fun. It would give kids (and probably adults too) the chance to rapidly influence the overall mood — think of someone standing on the mad repeatedly jumping on the buttons over and over and watching their mood ‘grow’ on the screen. I think it would give it more of a direct feedback/interactivity and if it turned out to be annoying or ruin the overall experience, we could always implement a delay (only one reading per minute or something).

Today I also tried playing Stepmania with accelerometers. This also works but I think might be more difficult.

First Steps with Processing - Accelerometer Controller and Dance Mat

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

I was playing around with a single accelerometer. For another project, it has been configured with 2 buttons and the 1, 3-axis accelerometer. Using the ProControll library with Processing I made a simple program that allows you to choose a colour, Hue Saturation and Brightness based on the accelerometer orientation. By holding down a button, the current colour is selected and you can paint with it (sort of like painting in air, except with 3 axes of rotation so it’s a bit tricky). And finally, the other button clears the screen. Starting from nothing, the whole project took a couple of hours.

After installing the ProControll library, I got to thinking that we could really use ANY kind of input device. I tried hooking up my dance mat (using a PS2 -> USB converter) and modified one of the example ProControll programs to use the dance mat arrows to rotate a cube (using the OpenGL library in Processing). It took litterally minutes.

I’ll post the source for both tomorrow.

If you have any kind of interesting hardware, I highly recommend hooking it up and playing with it. In a very short amount of time you can get stuff working in Processing. If nothing else, it will be good for mock-ups and prototypes. There are sound and video libraries too so check it out.

Fiiinally, one last thing. I just got a book out of the Carleton Library “Emotion and Adaptation” by Lazarus. It seems to offer a somewhat scientific background about emotions relating to psychology. It seems like it might be useful theory to help us make and support our design decisions. Time permitting and depending on the assigned readings, I will try to make some notes on the useful bits of the book.

That was long.