Idea : the laser glove

This is an idea I had for a simple, dirt-cheap glove-based input device, for intuitive control of audio/video synthesizers like Perceptron and such. It consists of a glove with a commodity red laser pointer oriented along each finger. This allows the user to control the shape, size, and orientation of a cluster of laser dots on a screen. A webcam watches the screen and uses the dots to control software.

The software could do any of a number of things. One approach would be to fit the dot positions to a set of splines, then use properties of these splines such as length, average direction, curvature, etc. as input parameters to the synthesizer system. At Drop Day we had a lot of fun pointing lasers at feedback loops, and that was without any higher-level processing.

Laser pointers are now less than $1.00 each, bought in bulk on eBay. (I have several dozen in my room right now.) I don't know of a good way to differentiate one dot or user from another without adding a lot of complexity, but I think cool effects could be had by just heuristically detecting dot formations. The emergent behavior from multiple interacting users might be desired, anyway.

On a slightly related note, here's some guy's MIT Media Lab thesis that I found while browsing the Web one fine day: Large Group Musical Interaction using Disposable Wireless Motion Sensors

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