Combining dance, technology, and elegance.


The concept of a wearable computer has been around for quite a long time. Though mostly an element from science fiction, they do exist today. Project Aurora has created a suit that transforms movements from the performer into commands. Remember that scene in Minority Report were Tom Cruise manipulated a holographic display with simple hand movements? Well that is what this does, though not at that scale.

“Project Aurora focuses on dance itself and accomplishing harmonious co-existence between the performer and the technology.” Dance was chosen as the testing grounds for the wearable because it is a form of communication focusing on movement. Creating an accurate system of measuring these movements was the goal. Working closely with the University of Texas Austin dance department, Aurora continually gets a chance to showcase and improve its work.

I have been to two performances of this technology. The first was having the performer make gestures that affected a piece of digital video. There were different movements for start, stop, pause, fast forward, and slowdown. The second performance I saw, with the newer advanced suit, was even more impressive having the dance manipulate a field of particles.

A long term goal is to create a wearable computer that could be purchased at any clothing retailer.


Though the web site doesn’t supply any technical specifications, you will just have to believe me when I say I know the project lead personally. The suit is constructed from conductive textiles woven into the fabric. Signals are sent from the sensors to a small computer on the back, which in turn transmits commands to the console, and then projected onto a screen.


Project Director: Wei Yeh
Systems engineer: Shelley Hardin
Embedded Programmer: Brandon Wiley
Visualization Programmer: Charlotte Craff
Senior Engineer: Andrew Litt
Faculty Sponsor: Yacov Sharir
Dancers: Shelley Hardin, Charlotte Craff< br />

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