I’ve looked around online and done some research to figure out the best components to use for the Beatwalker. The main parts are going to consist of a project box that will contain a GinSing synth shield, a very small Arduino to interpret the step counting and brain activity details, and an accelerometer or pedometer. The headphones portion will combine headphones to listen to audio with an EEG sensor. The above image contains the headphones and EEG sensor, but, if this product is to at all appeal to runners, the headphones should be able to stay on the head, so something like these would be more ideal:
And bluetooth would be even better, if I can implement that as well:
I’m still not sold on even using an EEG sensor because of how intrusive it appears. If a sleek headband could be created involving headphones and an EEG sensor, that could be one thing. I really just want to experiment with using different sensors that can sense change during a walk/run, so that music can respond to that.
The synth that generates the music (likely in the form of pre-determined midi samples that can be altered as needed) is the GinSing:
This is meant to interact with the Arduino.
Around the waist, the GinSing and Arduino will live with power (9V battery) and an accelerometer or a hacked Pedometer. The pedometer already does the work of step counting for me, has ways to calibrate depending on the user, and will probably do a better job of counting than I will be able to.
After reading reviews, a Sportline Model 330 is accurate and cheap:
I have an Adafruit accelerometer I will also try messing around with, incase I can get more useful numbers for my purposes.
All of these things will be housed on a project box that can be attached to a user’s waist (research has shown that pedometers are more accurate on a waist than in a pocket):
As for playtesting, I’m probably going to put a small enclosure on one’s waist, and headphones on their head, maybe with something hanging from it to simulate the EEG sensor. I tried wearing the EEG Mindwave from the ER, and it was tremendously uncomfortable. I can’t imaging wearing something that excessive and walking/running around for pleasure:
While playtesting, and even in discussion about the product, here are a few of the questions I have:
1) How does a user think they should ‘turn on’ the device and have it start playing?
2) How uncomfortable/conscious would multiple head sensors make someone feel?
3) Is a waist mount going to be a dealbreaker? I hope not.
4) For all the prototype technology that needs to fit on the waist, will it be too bulky?
5) Will users control the Beatwalker in terms of walking pace, or will the Beatwalker control them? In other words, will the dictated beat, close to their walking pace, cause them to maintain at that pace.
6) What will be needed to keep the interaction interesting?