A student at Nottingham University is researching ways in which computers can be used for artistic performance, with the aim of making technology in the arts cheaper and easier to use.
PhD student Joe Marshall is studying computer science and conducting research in the university’s Mixed Reality Lab.
Marshall’s Juggling Video Tracker uses a camera to detect the position of a person’s arms and face, as well as the balls they are juggling, to trigger video and audio responses.
His work on human-computer interaction features his very own ‘pet rock’ kept in a cage, which communicates in squeaks and grunts.
Marshall said: ‘When someone touches it the pressure they exert affects the amount of blood reaching the fingernail. The change in colour is monitored by the video camera attached to its cage and the rock will make a noise to let you know how and where you are holding it.’
His touch-sensitive technology allows computers to interact with any object, and could find applications for museums and architecture.
Professor of collaborative computing Steve Benford said: ‘Joe’s work has the potential to support new kinds of performance, but potentially reaches out much more widely into our everyday use of computers.’