Adult Chairs are tangible interfaces that allow for rudimentary control over a musical performance. The interface, woven into an object that is part of the fabric of our everyday life, adds to the element of surprise helping to create an engaging experience from something very simple.
Adult Chairs was our first tangible interface prototype. Inline with our overall project aims, the concept of Adult Chairs is to embed sensors in everyday ordinary objects allowing people to interact with music and sound with a form that has a completely different use. It is hoped that by doing making the interface invisible and a part of ordinary objects we can invoke a sense of wonder, surprise, and hopefully engage people in the creation of sound and music in a whole new way.
In Adult Chairs we embed a series of pressure sensors in tastefully designed four matching pillows and chairs. Each pillow has 2 sensors that allow for the control of a number of different parameters in a pre-created music composition. These parameters include: the fade in and fade out of a music track or voice, a subtle control over pitch, change in timbre, and a change in the sound of the voice. The interface in controlled by simply activated by sitting on the chairs or pressing on the pillows. Subtle changes in the volume of of each music track are affected by the amount of pressure applied to the sensor – if a participant is particularly light this may produce a sound of lower volume. If a participant is heavy the converse would be true. The parameter changes in the individual music tracks is controlled by a subtle rocking movement of the body – this again produces subtle variations from person to person.
Example output produced by the chairs: