Time to recalibrate… (part 3 of 3)

I have to apologize...i cant write the “big post”.  it was supposed to be (in my mind) some big “empire strikes back”, holy shit! WTF did I just read!?- level crazy shit!!  but…

Not that i "cant", i just wont.  why?  it's too much...too much information with not enough examples of WTF I’m on about.  the original idea was to drop it all as a sort of manifesto of sorts; an outline that describes a bigger picture that combined dozens of threads of research and thought.  But upon rereading the 20 or so drafts that have been created in the last month, the ideas were way too disjointed and abstract.  they didnt lead anywhere or get to the point that was intended.  My theory of what happened is that when you spend so much time in your own mindspace, it feels like the things you see and experience there, are as obvious to others as they are to you, as if the people you are sharing with, are in your virtual world with you, rather than the “virtual representations of them” that are there.

luckily, I have friends that let me project these concepts at them.  for weeks, i let down the "maybe they will think i'm crazy" shield, and just gave them the whole thing, exactly how i was experiencing it and all the associated research that i had done in, what i will term as the "communal reality" that we exist in together and agree we're both apart of.  well, you can probably surmise by the title of this post how most of these sessions went.  My friends love me, and are all honest people, otherwise we wouldnt be friends, so that look of "studied neutrality" that became the dominant response from 99% of them, gave me pause.  and during said pause i would write what i was thinking and read it the following day and have to commend them on their reserve for not simply walking away.

see, the problem, as i have come to see it, is that, unlike every other aspect of the project(s) so far, there was only the suggestion of an example to come rather than a demonstration of an example in hand. 

crazy shit isnt crazy shit if you can build it, play it, eat it, hold it, etc. 

much of the basis of the big post, (TBP) was theoretical and conceptual.  note at this juncture that i didnt say that the subject matter was bullshit...that’s a whole other thing.  "crazy" is not the same as "bullshit", but if there is no way to substantiate it, it is difficult to demonstrate any difference between them.


  • Currently, development of the hardware and software are multiple processes that each fight for attention;
        imagination iteration,
        CAD design,
        protocol logic,
        sound design THEN
        playing it, discovering what needs attention then
        restarting the whole process from the beginning.

i love it!!  I get to learn any and everything i want!  its so amazing, i am sometimes overwhelmed emotionally at my fortune to be alive in this day and age, but, it is inefficient. its hard to shift gears to do each of the things that needs to be done, so a few months ago i began looking into the idea of making the development of the exo-voice and all of its peripheral vectors, into a portable development system that i could develop from "within".  The idea was/is that if i use the exo-voice as an input device, replacing the keyboard and mouse that i use now, I could kill multiple birds with one stone; developing the muscle memory necessary for virtuosity, while doing things as simple as checking email or as focused as programming the underlying software logic, by incorporating all aspects of the exo-voice, namely, breath as input, hand position and function latching.  the basic keyboard/mouse logic hasnt been been hard to implement and as a thought exercise, it has really helped speed things up in regards to getting the campaign contributors a system they can wear comfortably and actually use.  this last point is a big one.  i do not want to send out anymore interfaces that dont get played.  when this reaches my contributors, they will have a prosthesis that should inspire them to want to use it as much as i  love using it.

the "normal"-normal?

Picture 79 

(note: much of this overview is to assure my contributors that im not dead since ive spent so much time over the last few months on proper-izing things.)

The hand units are increasingly wonderful now! before last week, the palm and handbrace that holds the unit securely on the hand, had been angled toward  the wrong plane (smacks forehead)  the previous versions of the hand units placed the hand at a 90 angle to the keypad where the fingers rested.

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the hand was, until last week, still at a 90 degree angle although the keys had all rotated approximately 30 degrees owing to the new more ergonomic design, so not only did it hurt my hands to play for long amounts of time, but no one else could even put their hands in it, and those that could, couldnt touch the keys (note: since this is a completely new type of interface, I don’t know these issues until I have had time to play them for a bit and discover them)

So last week it occurred to me to angle all surfaces that touch the palm and the hand in the same direction as the accelerometer planes, which is set at what i call the zero point; middle of the x and y axes.8Notice the angled edge in the first photo and the cut away angled section of the handbrace in the second)

 Picture 75Picture 77Picture 86Picture 88Picture 89Picture 92

and viola!  not only is it beautiful to play, but every person that has put their hand in one of them, can hold it properly now-small and large hands. yaaaaay!!  next will be to make the joytoggle arrays more adjustable, but thats easy.

the mask gained adjustability last month.

Picture 33


  it also can be put on many head sizes.

the mouthpiece works beautifully now.  it took a while, but it snaps together in 3 pieces, with no tools

. Picture 7Picture 9

there is the main oral interface which uses elastic tension to lock into the front teeth.  while there, the breath holeis in the middle of an oval shaped piece that minimizes air leakage and directs it straight in to the two pressure sensors at the end of the shortest plumbing I could design.  it is the fastest most precise articualtion I believe is possible; 3mm wide, approximately 60mm long, completely air tight and printable on any reprap.

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the lip sensing is equally precise but with additional customizability. It uses the same FSR’s used for the fingers controls on the hand units.  until this design, they would need replacement every 2-3 month because of spit corrosion.

Picture 53Picture 55Picture 57Picture 60Picture 61Picture 62Picture 65Picture 67Picture 69 

together, the lip and breath mechanics work together in ways that abstract the normal lip/breath interaction of wind controllers and acoustic reeded instruemnts, into something much more programmable.  I’ve yet to investigate this fully yet.

the main issue with it now, is to "universalize" the mouth interface area and design it in a way that doesnt allow it to stick to the face so much.

Picture 1 

its lightyears better than previous designs, but by concentrating on a single line from the chin to the back of the head, then draping the design onto that (thats the best way i can describe it), it will be more comfortable, more adaptable for many head sizes and easy to print with nylon, which is now the prefered material for the system since it can be easily sourced at any hardware store in the form of weedwhacker line.Picture 3

Time to play some music!

There was a whole lot of crazy shit here but thankfully “cut and Paste” can simply be “cut”.  for the time being, lets stick with this stuff.  make some dope controllers and some cool perks and some funky sounds and rock some parties.  there is plenty of time for all the weird shit.  it aint going away and I can ease it out a bit at a time but its kinda doing my head in a bit.  I need to get out and play.  oh and…


you may have noticed that i have avoided the term "cyborg", preferring the phrase "portable development platform".  As stated in the first post of this series, Cyborg, as a word, already has a life...a culture.  that post asked "what if the word cyborg had been invented today?" but since that post, i realized more fully that the word cyborg WAS NOT invented today.  it was created a long time ago for a different idea of what the interaction between a human and technology, could be.  it is for this reason, i will not use that term, although if someone uses it to describe me, i wont be offended.

the burden is on this idea, to birth a more humanistic, symbiotic conception of the union between a sentient intelligence and the technology it creates to expand its ability to interact with time, space, matter and sound. 

for now, I want to focus on little details like wrapping up last years crowdfunding campaign, and applying 6 months of sound design notes to the the synthesis system that has been neglected from the previous linear development concept.  oh...and rocking out with the fresh-ass minimized busking system.  its tiny, its powerful, and its begging to crash some (more) parties!! 

so with this post, i want get back to regular blogging and music and all that.  more to come, but as my neighbor says, “Slowly, slowly…”

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