Creative Technology | 2017

Choreosome

Proposal for motion capture technology to aid in cultural preservation of folk dances

Choreosome was conceived as a hackathon project in MIT’s Hacking Arts hackathon, which explored the question “Why human?” with the thesis that motion is central to being Human.

The app uses emerging technologies in motion capture and virtual reality to preserve the cultural heritage of dance, as we believed motion capture technology could be as critical to the preservation of human motion as writing was to oral tradition.

Choreosome uses Perception Neuron motion capture inputs to run spatial analyses and generate immersive experiences that can be viewed in any VR headset. The geometries generated by the spatial analyses become learning aids for users to interpolate between the motions of a dance. As more pieces are recorded, future iterations can use an artificial neural network to identify and codify a database of dance moves incorporating not only the technical methods, but also the cultural contexts and geographic spread. This data will be available through a mobile app, which helps to democratize this advanced motion capture technology. There are already research groups across Cypress, Croatia, and Austria tracing the roots of folk dances, and Choresome has the potential to aid such cultural preservation efforts.

Our team believed that the technology of the future could preserve the legacy of the past, and judges agreed — Choreosome won the first place grand prize at MIT’s Hacking Arts hackathon, as well as the Perception Neuron sponsor prize.

Perception Neuron’s motion capture suit provides enough point-based spatial data of interpolated movements to generate a unique and aesthetically pleasing visualization.

Choreosome app

Our group ended up winning first place at the 2019 MIT Hacking Arts hackathon, as well as the Perception Neuron Sponsor prize for best proposed application of motion capture technology.