This project is right on pointé!
Designed by Lesia Trubat, Electronic Traces (E-Traces for short) are a pair of embedded pointé shoes that allow ballerinas to recreate their movements into visual sensations using an accompanying mobile app. For those unfamiliar with this particular form of ballet, pointé refers to a style of dance where dancers balance on the tip of their toes using flat fronted shoes.
Equipped with Arduino LilyPad boards (ATmega328) and three force sensitive resistors, E-Trace records the pressure and motion of a ballet dancer’s feet and transmits the signals over Bluetooth to an electronic device. The smartphone app enables the wearer to trace the data graphically, view the movements made in video format, extract images and even print them out for later use. This can certainly come in handy for those ballerinas seeking to improve their choreography and hone their skills in a creative yet elegant way, which is reminiscent of calligraphy.
“Dancers can interpret their own movements and correct them or compare them with the movements of other dancers, as graphs created with motion may be the same or different depending on the type of movements executed and the correction of the steps and body position,” the Maker explains.
While ballet shoes may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the IoT, Trubat has set out to put a modern spin on a rather traditional art form which dates back to 16th century. Although the E-Trace system is merely a prototype at the moment, it could soon be implemented across all disciplines of dance and training.