The project Sounding Feet explores the creative possibilities of
interactively controlling sound synthesis through pressure sensitive
shoe inlays that can monitor minute body movements. The project
is an attempt to closely relate the sensing capabilities of an
interactive system to a dancer’s own body awareness which prominently involve aspects of inner perception.
Several pressure sensitive shoes have been developed for this project. The shoes are based on regular off-the-shelf foot-wear that have been modified to contain for sensor data acquisition and wireless communication all of which are integrated into its sole. Depicted in the top-left image are the following components: 1: battery, 2: battery charger, 3: resistor array, 4: microcontroller. Depicted in the bottom-right image are the following components: 1: opening for accessing the microcontroller programming port and power switch, 2: opening for recharging the battery.
Seven force resistive sensors are mounted on an inlay sole.
The list of electronic components is as follows:
- Microcontroller: Arduino MKR1000
- Force Resistive Sensors: FlexiForce ESS301
- Resistor Array: CTS 770-81-R33KP-ND
- Switch: SS-12D00
- Battery Charger: PRT-10217
- Battery: Lipo 350 mAh
A software for the recording, processing, and playback of sensor data has been developed. Live sensor data is received wirelessly as OSC messages. The software provides some functionality for pre-processing the sensor values. The pre-processed sensor values are then sent as OSC messages to any sonification tool.
To evaluate the potential of using pressure sensitive shoes as wearable sensors for movement analysis and sonification,
two basic sonification methods have been implemented: the first sonification method employs additive synthesis, the second sonification employs frequency modulation synthesis.
The pressure sensitive shoes have been employed in the production of two different dance pieces.
The piece The Marriage of Heaven and Hell has been realized in 2017 / 2018 in a collaboration with choreographer Muriel Romero and composer Pablo Palacio. In this piece, a dancer controls synthetically created vowel sounds.
The piece Two Pandoras has been realized in 2019 in a collaboration with choreographer Muriel Romero and composer Pablo Palacio. In one section of the piece, the dancer controls synthetically created vowel sounds. In another section of the piece, the dancer controls synthetically created percussive sounds.