Phenomblue’s Daydreamer helps hearing impaired make music (Video)
When we caught up with Phenomblue back in March, the Omaha-based brand experience agency's Signature Reserve committee had recently unveiled its Daydreamer project. With the release last month of a video about that project, we figured it was an ideal time to check in on Daydreamer.
Signature Reserve, Phenomblue's think tank for special in-house projects, worked with the Iowa School for the Deaf on Daydreamer, a tool that allows body movement to create music you can see. Meant to turn movement into sounds, Daydreamer allows the hearing impaired to make music with their body using Microsoft Kinect, which tracks movement of people and objects using an RGB camera and depth camera.
Brandon Bone (near left), Phenomblue's associate director of software design and development, and Ryan Phelan (far left), the company's director of technology, took some time to get us up to speed on Daydreamer.
Silicon Prairie News: Where did the idea for Daydreamer come from?
Brandon Bone: Originally, our team set out to create an interactive musical art piece utilizing the Microsoft Kinect. During the development process, we realized that a project like this hadn't been tailored to the hearing impaired so we refocused our work to target the deaf community as our end user.
SPN: What kind of technology went into creating Daydreamer? How does it work?
Ryan Phelan: Daydreamer was built using Microsoft Kinect and Adobe AIR. It collects skeleton data from a Kinect sensor using a library called OSCeleton and uses that input to dynamically generate audio and display 3D visualizations with Away 3D. The result is displayed on a large screen TV or projector and blasted through a powerful sound system to create an immersive experience where the audio, visuals and "feel" of the music (via vibrations in the floor) are all controlled by the movement of your body.
SPN: Has anything similar been done like this before?
BB: As far as we know no applications like this exist to give hearing-impaired audiences the ability and opportunity to create music and art. There are several examples of prototypes and R&D projects from various other companies that target the creation of visual and musical art utilizing the Kinect, but nothing that focuses on the hearing impaired like Daydreamer does.