In the research project Flow-Maschinen (BMBF), I have designed and developed prototypes of interactive sound for walking for different design cases. The prototypes were implemented together with members of the project. In particular, my colleague Simon Bogutzky developed detection algorithms to gather and analyse the user’s walking activity. My contribution to the prototypes included: a) conception of (sonic) interaction mechanics including walking models, b) implementation of sound processing algorithms and constructs to translate walking information into a sonic expression and c) methodology and evaluation.

Sedentary lifestyle and resulting health problems have increased interest in design strategies to supports people’s motivation for physical activity. In the research project Flow-Machines, we designed and developed a mobile application that makes the user’s walking movement audible. Using this mobile application, users’ walking movements trigger sounds that evolve into a dynamic soundscape changing in real time.

A number of animations have been created to illustrate the design of the dynamic sonic expression designed for this prototype.

To study the evolving sonic expression, process data was collected using the mobile application on the participant’s iPhone. At application start, process data was stored in a CSV format (.csv) with corresponding timestamps. The process data includes: a) motion data (timestamp, acceleration(XYZ), gravity(XYZ), rotation(XYZ), attitude(YawRollPitch), b) tracked gait event data (timestamp, gait event type) and c) an audio file recording of the dynamically created sonic expression.

Here is an example of using the Software Observer for synchronizing multimodal data streams and to gain an overview on the walking process :

Hajinejad, N., Grüter, B., RoqueL., Bogutzky, S. (2016) GangKlang: Facilitating a Movement-Oriented Walking Experience through Sonic Interaction. In Proc. of Audio Mostly ’16, New York, USA: ACM, pp. 202–208.

Hajinejad, N., Roque, L., Grüter, B. (2017) Walking Phrases: Modeling the Walker’s Context for Sonic Interaction Design. In Proc of Audio Mostly ’17, New York, USA, pp. 202-208.