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Tangible Interaction

FanCy is an interactive instrument which could be apply to Fan dancing or Tai Chi Fan


FanCy can detect users’  movement and play different sounds based on that. It can be used as an interactive fan in the performance of Fan Dancing or Tai Chi Fan to offer performers more improvisation ability. Because with FanCy, performers do not have to always follow the background music, but it an opposite way, music are following their embodied movements. Meanwhile, by following the feedbacks and the feedthroughs, the performers could also adjust their gestures and movements to perform better.

# This was a design project, which target is to support artistic innovation with digital installation. We finished this project at LRI Lab in Paris. I designed the interaction concept and developed gesture mapping with Arduino and MAX. My teammate was in charge of aesthetics part#

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Tangible interface

Tangible interface was applied to this instrument. Based on user's different embodied movement, FanCy would interact back to users with sounds and vibrations, which work as feedthrough, and feedback to indicate user how to manipulate.

Embodied movement

The only thing users need to do is moving it! Beating, waving and rotating. Learning curve is barely zero, because all these movements came from a person's embodied cognition, and this ensure a natural way for users to play.

artistic support tool

The target user personas are dancers and musicians. So we were intended to increase ambiguity in the mapping between user movements and response. This offers users various vocabulary and artistic sense.

The dancer in the video above was asked to perform FanCy without instructions in advance. At the beginning she has no idea of how it works. But 10 minutes later, she got a good sense of how to manipulate it and she even know how to adapt her dancing movements to make it looks more harmonious


How it works

To offer users a various vocabulary and artistic sense, we were intended to increase ambiguity in the mapping between user movements and response. The basic rules of how it works in the demo was summarized as below, and it offer a much subtler and richer experience when user try it by themselves.

Soothing movement

By soft waving FanCy, performers would make the background music become soft. The more soothing movements performers are doing, the more lucid and clear the background musics will be, which give performers a feeling of accumulating of energy. And this works as feedthrough, indicate the performer how soft and soothing his or her movements are.

For this demo, we use the sea paddle sound as the background music for soothing movement.

Intensive waving

By waving FanCy intensively, performers would make the background music more rhythmic. The background music will become louder and more clear with the increase of the intensiveness, which give the performers a feeling of expressing and releasing themselves. Performers could check how harmonious the performance is, based on the feeling of the rhythm. 

For this demo, we use the Chinese traditional music as the BGM for intensive waving.

Fierce Beating

Beating movements in dancing have a effect of power and rhythm. So if the performer beat the FanCy fiercely, the background music would become strong and fast-paced musics to show the power of movements , which could push the performance to the climax not only visually but also vocally. Performers could adjust their movement based on the vocal feedback to make the performance more harmonious 

For this demo, we use the Spanish Flamenco music as the BGM for fierce beating.


We hold an exhibition in LRI Lab at Paris for FanCy

It is so magic, because I could hear the music came out because of my movements, I would like to close my eyes and explore all of my movements.
— Carah
You can feel the sound. Some times I could feel it was forcing me to keep move it. And I even tried to dance a little bit to follow the movement.
— Ana
When I first picked it up, I have no idea how it works. But when I began to wave it, I was inspired by the changes of background sound.
— Sako