Sensory Threads is a wearable sensing project which creates interactive audio soundscapes. How it works is a group of 4 people are each given a wearable sensor box, and a pair of headphones, and sent out into a city (or any other place for that matter). The headphones play back a ‘soundscape’ – a piece of music which changes based on the sensor readings.
Currently, we are using very simple, easy to understand sensors – light, noise, heart rate, and a sonar proximity sensor (which gives a rough idea of how constricted a space someone is in). The interesting thing about Sensory Threads is that the 4 people all have a shared soundscape, and must stay close together (within about 5-10 metres of each other), yet each person has a different sensor, so they may be motivated to move in different ways. For example, the person with the proximity sensor may want to hide in small places to make the sensor go high, whereas the person with the noise sensor may want to go and stand on a busy street corner, where the cars passing will make interesting things happen.
Sensory Threads is a collaborative project, various other people are involved in the work, including Proboscis, who are a London based art group and the Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University of London, who created the soundscape used in the project.