Xth Sense: Wearable Biosensors

 

The "Xth Sense™" is a new type of wearable musical instrument. It consists of wearable bionsensors that track muscle contraction and movement, and converts this information into sound and visuals. Caselden Studios developed the first wireless version of this invention for dancers in an interactive multi-media performance, RADICAL: Signs of Life, directed by Heidi Biosvert.

 Dancers wearing the Xth Sense designs in a performance. The projected visuals and audio come from biosignals detected by the wearables.

Dancers wearing the Xth Sense designs in a performance. The projected visuals and audio come from biosignals detected by the wearables.

 

Participants attach the sensors to their body. The Xth Sense will work with any muscle. In the photo to the left, dancers have attached the device to their arms and legs.

How Does it Work?

As the participants move, muscles contract, creating vibrations. These vibrations are referred to as MMG, or mechanomyogram signals. The Xth Sense detects these vibrations, and transmits the signal through the air to laptops, where they generate sound and visual projections. Here is a video of dancers in action using the sensors:

 

 

 

Our Role:

Artist Marco Donnarumma approached us with the first prototype, and asked us to produce a wireless version for the performance. Caselden Studios developed a wireless version of the design, delivering custom firmware, wearable embedded systems, circuit design for the sensors, and PCB fabrication for batch production. We also contributed to the spatial layout of electronics across bodies, ensuring that the designs were dancer-appropriate.

The design and event was so successful that the two leading artists have developed this technology into a product, and launched a company called Xth.io

 
 

 

Credits

 

Xth Sense Design + Engineering

Electronics, PCBs, Firmware, Wireless Transmission: Caselden Studios

Sensor Design + Interaction Design: Marco Donnarumma
Industrial Design: Krystal Persaud

Wearable Design: Heidi Boisvert, Krystal Persaud, Caselden Studios, Amy Nielson

 

[Radical] Signs of Life Performance Production

Concept and Direction: Heidi Boisvert
Choreography: Pauline Jennings
Dancers: Jennifer Mellor, Ellen Smith Ahern, Hanna Satterlee, Avi Waring and Willow Wonder

Sound Design: Doug Van Nort
Set & Light Design: Allen Hahn
Visual Design: Raven Kwok
Costume Design: Amy Nielson