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Some classmates (Byron Lahey and Ryan Brotman) and I just finished up a project where we used wireless handheld electronic devices to control Max/MSP instruments. It’s called sGloTaT (sensor Glow-object Trumpet and Tambourine):

The sGloTaT sonic environment allows participants to originate sound by moving physical objects. It encourages novice users to play by naturally gesturing with two tangible user interface objects emulating a trumpet and tambourine. In this sound space, movements by the users generate visual feedback projected on the floor in the form of a three-dimensional rendering of a cone.

Byron built one of the objects from polycarbonate tubing, and I hacked a Bop-it toy for the other controller. Both contain an Arduino mini, BlueSmiRF, and a two-axis accelerometer. The glowing and IR-reflective tape helps the objects be sensed by our motion tracking infrastructure in the SMALLab environment at Arizona State University. You can watch the overview video, download our paper, and look at photos of the objects in progress – Link.