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SonicHoop: Using Interactive Sonification to Support Aerial Hoop Practices

Diemo Schwarz
Frederic Bevilacqua
Michel Beaudouin-Lafon
Wanyu Liu (Abby)
Wendy Mackay
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2021)
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We present SonicHoop, an augmented aerial hoop with capacitive touch sensing and interactive sonification. SonicHoop is equipped with 42 electrodes, equally distributed over the hoop, which detect touch events between the hoop and the performer's body. We add interactive sonification of the touch events with the goal of, first, providing auditory feedback of the movements, and second, transforming the aerial hoop into a digital musical instrument that can be played by the performer's body. We explored 3 sonification strategies: ambient, lounge and electro dance. Structured observation with 2 professional aerial hoop performers shows that \sh fundamentally changes their perception and choreographic processes: instead of translating music into movement, they search for bodily expressions to compose music. Different sound designs affect their movement differently, and auditory feedback, regardless of types of sound, improves movement quality. We discuss opportunities for using SonicHoop as a creative object, a pedagogical tool and a digital musical instrument, as well as using interactive sonification in other acrobatic practices to explore full-body vertical interaction.