We have designed several ambient soundscapes for the Magic Carpet, and have often installed this system in our elevator lobbies, where passers-by stop for extended periods to exploring the sonic mappings. The video clip (2.3 MEG MPEG) demonstrates one of these soundscapes (written by then MIT undergraduate Kai-yuh Hsiao), with lower tones generated by foot position and pressure (jumping fires a sharp transient sound) and "twinkling" sequences responding to upper body motion. Another video is linked here (22.2 MB), showing MIT researcher and dancer Mia Keinanen performing with the carpet system in the Media Lab Atrium. Still another video is linked here (8.9 MB), showing an application of the carpet system done by the Media Lab's Interactive Cinema group. In this application, the radars weren't used; stepping across the carpet enables one to ascend a virtual stairway. If one takes the proper path, you are able to get to the keyhole and be a silent voyeur as you peer through into the room beyond; your viewpoint changes with your position on the carpet.

The carpet system was installed in the Current Science and Technology section of the Boston Museum of Science from January-April 2001 as part of their musical instruments exhibition. A photo of the carpet system set up there is linked here. Although the system worked fantastically at the Museum, we have no video to post from this exhibition.A strangely amusing radio story is posted about this exhibit here.

On April 28, 2002, the Carpet System opened as a permanent installation at the MIT Museum. Called "Stomping Ground", it was a collaboration between the core Carpet team ( Joe Paradiso and Kai-Yuh Hsiao, who did the hardware and music/soundscape), Simon Greenwold of the Media Lab's Aesthetics and Computation Group (who did the visualization), and Stephanie Hunt of the MIT Museum staff (who made it all happen there). See a photo here of kids enjoying themselves there during the opening. Simon has more photos and some video of the kids playing with it posted on his Stomping Ground site. Although the kids very much enjoyed the experience, it was needless to say quite noisy. Hence, we again invited Mia Keinanen over to improvise on the system before the museum opened. Although she had never experienced it before, the results were very engaging. See a video of Mia here improvising with the percussive mode and here improvising with the melodic mode. These videos are both somewhat long (e.g., 14 Meg), but definitely the best documentation of the system in action.

The carpet system was developed by a Media Lab team from the Responsive Environments Group led by Prof. Joe Paradiso that included students Craig Alber, Kai-Yuh Hsiao, and Matt Reynolds.

We also have an older video (2.5 MEG MPEG) showing a very early music system based on a less-evolved motion radar. This is the first musical mapping that Kai-yuh Hsiao did with us, and he is seen here performing the piece. Note the two signals on the scope. These are derived from the Doppler beats; one signal responds to general motion while the other picks up faster movements. They are used to generate the music (the Magic Carpet radars also produce a signal that corresponds to the direction of motion). Our most recent Dopplers extract all features digitally on an onboard microprocessor and directly output a serial state stream.

Click below to download aa 2-page PDF paper introducing the Carpet and Radar system presented at CHI97.

The Magic Carpet: Physical Sensing for Immersive Environments J. Paradiso, C. Abler, KY. Hsiao, M. Reynolds, in Proc. of the CHI '97 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Extended Abstracts, ACM Press, NY, pp. 277-278(1997).

The system has been described in more detail at:

The Brain Opera Technology: New Instruments and Gestural Sensors for Musical Interaction and Performance Joseph Paradiso. Journal of New Music Research, Vol. 28, No. 2, 1999, pp. 130-149.
For additional information and video clips, visit their online site.

Sensor Systems for Interactive Surfaces. J. Paradiso, K. Hsiao, J. Strickon, J. Lifton, and A. Adler, IBM Systems Journal, Volume 39, Nos. 3 & 4, October 2000, pp. 892-914.

J.A. Paradiso, "Several Sensor Approaches that Retrofit Large Surfaces for Interactivity" Presented at the UbiComp 2002 Workshop on Collaboration with Interactive Walls and Tables, Gothenburg, Sweden, September 29, 2002.

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