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Thursday, July 3 • 11:30 - 12:59
The Prospects For Eye-Controlled Musical Performance

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The Prospects For Eye-Controlled Musical Performance
Anthony Hornof
University of Oregon

Long Paper

As new sensor devices and data streams are harnessed for musical expression, and as eye-tracking devices become increasingly cost-effective and prevalent in research and as a means of communication for people with severe motor impairments, eye-controlled musical expression nonetheless remains largely unexplored and elusive. This paper (a) identifies a number of fundamental human ocularmotor capabilities that may constrain what can be musically expressed with eye movements, (b) reviews prior work on eye-controlled musical expression, (c) discusses how careful consideration of these human constraints in the design of eye-controlled interfaces can nonetheless contribute to usable and expressive eye-controlled instruments that can, in turn, be used to create compelling audience experiences, and (d) presents a taxonomy to classify and categorize prior and future work on eye-controlled musical performance. The main dimension in the taxonomy relates to whether the goal of a particular eye-controlled instrument or composition is to create (a) an avant garde musical experience for a critical audience or (b) a simpler though perhaps more profound opportunity for a person with disabilities to express themselves musically. We argue that the only reasonable way to achieve the second of these two goals is to collaborate directly with the people with disabilities for whom the instrument is intended in the design of the instrument or composition. We conclude that overall the prospects for eye-controlled musical performance are somewhat constrained.


Thursday July 3, 2014 11:30 - 12:59 BST
New Academic Building: LG02

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