Gesture Radio Has the Right Moves #WearableWednesday

The first thing I thought of when I saw this project was Tony Stark and his gesture based computer system. Who doesn’t want that, right? Well, designer Rachel Ciavarella has designed a Gesture Radio that allows the user to control a radio on their hand. Apparently she was inspired by another glove.

I was inspired by other wearable sound projects such as, ‘The Lady’s Glove” by Laetitia Sonami. I wanted to explore these kinds of gestural interactions with the more analog medium of radio frequencies. Manipulating the volume and stations with your hand gives the sound a more physically present quality. You almost feel as though you’re muffling the station when you close your hand to lower the volume.

One of the things that really got Rachel excited about this project was thinking about how to pair gestures with state changes. Then there was the question, “how do you know when you’ve successfully completed a change?” In the case of changing the station, the glove emits a buzz thanks to a vibration motor. Other parts used include an Arduino Uno, a  three-axis gyro, a surface transducer, a flex sensor and an FM tuner.


In the video the glove appears to work beautifully, but Rachel admits that there were some obstacles to overcome.

I had never worked with flex sensors or a gyro before. I found it very difficult to get usable data from an analog sensor. With the help of a fellow student I was eventually able to work it out!

With the success of this project, Rachel is now moving forward with another version of the glove. It will be scaled down with components and use sound feedback for station changes. Sounds like she is on her way with more good ideas that have been gained from her initial work. Are you curious about how to add gestures or movement to your project? Then now is the time to look at our new learning guide on Costume Switches and Triggers. Create a magic wand or invent something from that doodle on your desk. Make every move count.

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