What is a twerkulator?
A wristband that turns your dance moves into dancefloor visualizations. The wristband can track your movement and change the visualizations that are being projected in front of the dancefloor.
Twerkulator Ready to GO
Where did the idea come from?
With an upcoming Dark Dance Party, we had to think about how we could add interactive installations to a pitch black space. The party was a collaboration with No Lights No Lycra ATX, a weekly event where people dance in an unlit room. It's usually more of a workout class, but we wanted to turn in into a bigger event for a weekend.
Tracking movement seemed like a great way to let people express themselves while maintaining an anonymous atmosphere.
How does it work?
Inside the wristband, there's a Bluefruit Arduino device that's hooked up to a battery pack. The Bluefruit device has an accelerometer that monitors movement in 3 dimensions. Casey ordered some of these Bluefruit devices after reading about all of the sensors that are available. Compared to other Arduino devices, no soldering is required, and functionality is easy to test using simple Python scripts. We hooked the devices up to our laptops and started testing out reactive visualizations.
This 3D acceleration data from this device gets sent to a browser over a Bluetooth connection.
Zach Koch set up a framework to pull this bluetooth data into the browser. We then used canvas-sketch and p5.js to create the interactive visualizations based on this data and I used Blender 3D to create the moving animations.
The accelerometer data is mapped to color, size, and positional data to change how things look on the screen. Swinging your arm around wildly creates seizure-inducing strobes, while gentle movements can move the animations back and forth across the screen.
You can see all of the code here: https://github.com/ezekeal/twerkulator
More dancefloor twerkulators!
Art Island is working to build on this framework to create a totem.
We found the wristband was a little difficult to pass between people, so we're going to create a totem that people can dance with on the dancefloor.
Maybe, at some point, we can create two DUELING totems!