The project seeks to improve the current model of ballet training with wearable technology integrated into existing dance garments-- socks, soft ballet shoes, and legwarmers that sense movement and give real-time feedback to the dancer.
Long-term goals of this project include:
1) preventing injury by using garment calibration to teach dancers about their body's natural limits, and give feedback when they are not dancing safely.
2) speeding the development of ballet technique basics by monitoring proper weight distribution, balance, and pointing of the toes.
3) providing more individual guidance than encouraging students to return to class, answering questions, and building confidence.
To date, the sock is the sensing layer- embedded with pressure sensors and an IMU to detect balance and positioning of the leg. The ballet shoes provide feedback- directing the dancer's movement with lights and haptics. The legwarmer provides unobtrusive mounting of the microcontroller and battery while connecting all parts of the system through I2C connections.
The Interactive Product Design Lab (IPDL) is a purpose-built lab designed to support both teaching and research by allowing students to investigate, explore, and experiment with an extensive array of new technologies. Central to this concept, the School of Industrial Design has placed a high priority on the need to foster and develop interdisciplinary, team-based collaboration with other educational and research units from across the campus, including the School of Interactive Computing, the School of Mechanical Engineering, the Graphics Visualization and Usability Lab (GVU), and the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA). The Interactive Product Design Lab was built in the summer of 2011 and opened in time for the 2011 fall semester.