Beats is an interactive system designed to involve the crowd in the show and connect clubbers directly with the Dj. Beats wearable technology relates audience to pulsating lights detecting the heartbeat and movement. In this way, people attending the show become active participant and, at the same time, are able to communicate their amusement to the stage.
Beats interactive wearable assigns 5 different colours (generated by LED) that shimmer, changing and pulsate, depending on the two detected parameters, providing a sort of “human-pattern experience” that it also creates club’s scenography. The Dj, thanks to an interactive display, is able to mix visual effects, switch off/on lights and building excitement in the crowd.
During the interactive system’s creation, we took into consideration both main actors (dj and participants), the context (club’s environment) and the whole experience (synergy between different people to achieve the same purpose). In this way, the “human-pattern” scenography could be also a Dj tool for engagement's measuring and the wearable sensor – that was firstly seen just as a detector – becomes a “dj’s prevision” designed to inform and raise awareness the users.
The goal of the workshop was to learn how to design advanced artifacts that are able to translate a whichever experience through a tangible interactive product. To do this, we refined the product design by sketching with Processing, we prototyped with 3D printer technology and we used an heartbeat sensor, a LED and a Genuino UNO. Our storytelling is focused on 2 specific users: Dj and clubbers.
Interface, interaction modality and user experience
Beats detects movement and heartbeat of the User 1 (Audience) through a wearable brooch that lights up and, at the same time, is able to translates both variables thanks to pulsation and color by LED. Simultaneously, the User 2 (Dj) monitors the crowd's engagement through an iPad app that offers a simple and immediate translation thanks a digital pattern, constrained in a module (img. 1), that gives information through shapes and colors (translating therefore heartbeat and movement) defining them in 5 different phases.
The User 2 is not just able to monitor the audience’s energy but he can also control and mix certain visual effects creating different “human-pattern” (img. 2). Early in the evening every clubber receives a brooch that reveals the evening's program and the expectations of the performers (Djs) by 3d infographics and a short description (img. 3).
Beats wearable sensor-LED language was developed on Genuino environment. The physical prototype was designed and produced with Rhino software and 3d printer technology. The Dj's app was prototyped with the help of Processing, Adobe Illustrator and Sketch, that have helped us to create quick sketches (both animated than static) in order to have a look of different scenarios (like number of clubbers, music’s amusement, different people disposal, pattern efficiency and readability).
Research and development context
The development of this project is set in the club environment. During our research we analyzed several cases where engagement and connection of crowds were a key role in the success of the event’s achievement, such as flash-mobs and silence parties.
Taking into account a real development, it’s possible to imagine that clubbers go home with a “take-away” and they become promoters by sharing the experience on social media or with friends, helping visibility of performers, venue and sponsors. In the other hand, Djs are able to retrace the evening’s success and to improve their performance and playlists for the next event.