[ISEA2011] Paper: Andreas Zingerle & Tyler Freeman – Vjacket: A Wearable Controller for Live Video Performance


This paper proposes an experimental wearable controller for live video performances called the VJacket. The VJacket can be worn by the performer or visual artist (VJ) to control video effects and transitions, trigger clips or scratch frames with the output of the integrated sensor system. The sensors detect body movements like bending, touching or hitting, and can send OpenSoundControl or MIDI messages wirelesssly to the VJ program of your choice. The VJacket brings the rhythmic movement of dance to computer interaction, so the VJ won’t have to fumble for knobs and buttons or look at the screen to be sure he’s clicking on the right thing – he will be free to control the video using his body movements alone.

Since it is wireless, the VJ will be free to interact with the audience and musicians – on stage or even walking through the crowd – something which most hermit-like VJs do not usually experience, since they are often delegated to the back corner of the club behind the video inputs and lighting controls. With a wireless system, a VJ becomes not just an engineer behind the curtain, but an actual live performer – one whose movements are directly connected to the video projections. The audience will be able to see the VJ’s gestures in connection with the video, and become more interested in the performance itself.

This paper will introduce the technology and interaction techniques of the VJacket and explain future scenarios (and social roles of VJing culture) within the performance community.

  • Andreas Zingerle. I am a graduate of the New Design University, St. Pölten-Vienna/Austria (department “Mediadesign”) and hold a master degree from the University of Art and Industrial Design, Linz/Austria (department “Media Theory – Interface Cultures“). In spring 2008, I did an exchange semester at the Media Lab, Taideteollinen korkeakoulu (University of Art and Design), Helsinki/Finland. In the last years, I worked on several installations exploring a creative (mis)use of technology and alternative ways of Human Computer Interaction.  Together with Linda Kronman I started the artist platform kairus.org: Through numerous events like workshops, exhibitions, talks, presentations and guided tours people are invited to participate and share opportune moments for art collaborations. Check the website for more information and current projects. Research interest:Interactive Narratives, Wearable Technology, Interaction Design & Human Computer Interaction.  andreaszingerle.com
  • Tyler Freeman is an artist who specializes in designing interfaces that bring the body closer to the machine, thus enhancing the user’s ability to manipulate digital information efficiently and unobtrusively — some people refer to these users as cyborgs, but the phenomenon is so rampant in today’s world that the word cyborg really loses all meaning.odbol received his undergrad degree in Computer Science and his Master’s in Digital Art and New Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He currently resides in San Francisco, CA. He is an active VJ who has played for numerous bands and acts throughout the United States and Europe, and has invented several performance interfaces such as the VJacket &,  DrumPants.   odbol.com

Full text (PDF)  p. 859-864  [title somewhat different]