New ways of tracking movement

I’ve been thinking about new ways to gather data from the dancing bodies. The movement I want to use to trigger an animation is the ‘boleo’. It’s the movement that results from a sudden change of direction in the energy of the lead. This can be back to forward horizontally, which sends the follower’s free leg straight back and up – it feels and looks like a whip, if you can visualize the motion of a hand cracking a whip, this is what the dancers do with their whole bodies, the leader is the hand, the followers body the handle and her leg the tip of the whip. If the reversal of energy is circular, from clockwise to anti-clockwise, the movement of the leg is also circular, the toe draws a loop in the air. These are the patterns that can be seen in the photos I posted last week.

Anyway, I digress. The point I was going to make was that I have been trying to find a way to capture this movement digitally. Way back when I was first thinking about the project, it was suggested that a colour on the sole of the followers foot could be picked up by my camera and colour tracking device, but it was nowhere near sensitive enough to be able to do that. I thought about a microphone on the shoe, which would be ok for footsteps, but not the movement I want to capture as it is silent. Recently I’ve been investigating accelerometers. I found (or rather somebody told me about!) these sites…
The need for the “CUI” (In the Media Arts and Technology program, we explore new metaphors for artistic interactivity that connect the physical world with the virtual realm.)

and this one…
Contextual Computing Group: Bluetooth Accelerometer… (This is a small wireless sensor platform providing a bluetooth SPP link to three axes of accelerometer data. The accelerometers are sampled by a PIC microcontroller (onboard ADC) at roughly 100Hz (rate can be changed via firmware)…)

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