2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight: The Quantified Artist – Biometric Augmented Reality

Written by Megan Collyer | Thursday, Jan 23, 2014

Robert Tuttle will present about biometric augmented reality at SXSW 2014

Central Texas will come alive this March during the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival. Original ideas will be brought to life in over 800 innovative sessions. Today’s installment of the Session Spotlight features, “The Quantified Artist: Biometric Augmented Reality,”, a solo presentation held by native Austinite Robert Tuttle. Follow him on Twitter at @rktut.

SXSW: What can you tell us about your SXSW Interactive panel?
Tuttle: Biometric, motion, and audio sensing can digitally augment live music and enhance the impact of the performing arts. This session provides a quantified "digital backstage" view of live chamber music rigged up with emerging hardware such as the Hexoskin wearable and Kinect 2 motion sensor along with real-time pitch and rhythm tracking. "Small Data" science, interaction design, and creative technology topics will be explored in the context of an immersive augmented reality concert experience.

SXSW: What kinds of people will enjoy your presentation?
Tuttle: My session should be insightful, and hopefully inspiring, to both digital technologists and creative artists watching the "Internet of Things" and "Big Data" trends to see how smart technologies (wearables, computer vision, sensors) can move beyond “practical” uses (medical, fitness, security, etc.) and into more subjective, artistic scenarios. In putting this session together, I am intentionally blurring the lines between technology depth, artistic insights, musical entertainment, and knowledge sharing with the hope that it comes across as a topic that could be equally at home at SXSW Music as well as SXSW Interactive.

SXSW: What excites you most about presenting this topic?
Tuttle: The most exciting aspect of this session is that I will be able to present a topic that combines my two greatest passions of technology and classical music in a way that is both educational and entertaining at the same time. It is going to be quite a rush to be showing experimental code and real-time data analytics to a SXSW audience while wearing a Hexoskin biometric vest, having a Kinect v2 sensor up close and personal tracking my body and finger movements, and letting pitch analysis software track and quantify my live performance stats while both making music and diving in on the technology and science behind it.

SXSW: Is this a topic you’ve presented to an audience previously?
Tuttle: I have not presented this topic area before. This combination of experimental biometric, computer vision, and audio analysis technology applied to live classical music performance is a new venture that I have been preparing for SXSW.

SXSW: What makes you qualified to give this presentation?
Tuttle: I have spent the last fifteen years of my technology career riding waves of innovation in both hardware and software platforms and frameworks (the last 10 working in design technology at frog), along with over 25 years of award-winning musical performance as a classical clarinetist and chamber musician. With the advancement of real-time ubiquitous sensing with biometric wearables, computer vision devices, and other "off-the-shelf" technologies, I have been able to use my combined expertise to begin experimenting with the concepts of quantified coaching and augmented reality injected into the context of live musical performance.

Watch this website for more installments of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight. Click here for the complete list of programming for March in Austin. Register now to attend “The Quantified Artist: Biometric Augmented Reality,” and other programming at SXSW Interactive 2014.