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9th International Conference on Intelligent Technologies for Interactive Entertainment

June 20–22, 2017 | Funchal, Portugal

Entertainment using Wearable Computing: Dancing with the Arduino Flora

This course will be held as part of the INTETAIN 2017 conference

June 20-22, 2017, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal:



The objective of this course is to explore the notion of entertainment using wearable computing devices.  Although the idea of using wearable computing devices so that users can engage more interactively with music is not new, the recent introduction of the Arduino Flora platform by Adafruit offers an easy way to create new applications. The Flora is a round, sewable, Arduino-compatible microcontroller. It is small (45mm diameter, weighing 4.4 grams) and is fabric friendly because all the components are flush to the PCB and won't tear delicate garments. It is simple to connect to external battery packs. The FLORA family has a number of associated sensors and accessories including a 9-DOF Accelerometer/Gyroscope/Magnetometer, an Accelerometer/Compass sensor, a colour sensor, tactile switches, microphone, proximity sensors, a Bluetooth LE module, a GPS module, and NeoPixel LEDs with full 24-bit colour ability and can be chained together. Many of these accessories also have a small form factor and are designed for being sewn onto clothing too. The Flora has built-in USB support and can be programmed using a modified version of the Arduino IDE. Such an array of tools and the fact that it is sewn on makes it a good choice for wearable applications, particularly those involving physical activity. The combination of inertial sensing and proximity sensing to determine how a user moves and if there are others close by, along with Neopixel LEDs as a display medium suggests a potential for novel non-verbal dynamic interaction within a dance performance.
The course offers an introduction to the design and development of entertainment oriented wearable computing devices using the Arduino Flora platform.  By the end of the course participants will gain the following insights:
  • How to harness the interactive potential inherent in wearable computing devices for entertainment and other application domains
  • How to work with and configure the Arduino Flora platform for wearable interactive applications involving motion and sound.


Tentative Timetable


Unit 1

Introduction to the course and brief introductions by the participants

Lecture: Introduction to entertainment applications using wearable computing devices

Examples of wearable computing based entertainment applications




Unit 2

Introducing the Arduino Flora platform

Hands-on. Design and implementation of a wearable dance-oriented application


Lunch Break


Unit 3

Demos and closing remarks



This course aims to introduce participants to the brave new world of wearable computing based entertainment applications in general and to the Arduino Flora platform in particular and thus could be of interest to anyone interested in the application of wearable computing technology to entertainment and other domains.  Due to resource and space limitation registration is limited to 20 participants so register early to assure your place.  Interested participants are asked to send a short (max 500 words) description of their interest in the course and their expected outcome to:




Joe Timoney, Maynooth University, Ireland

Dr Joe Timoney studied Electronic Engineering, completing his PhD in 1998. He joined the Dept. of Computer Science at NUI Maynooth in the following year. He teaches on undergraduate programs in Computer Science and in Music Technology. His research interests are based in the area of audio signal processing, with a focus on musical sound synthesis. He recently finished working on an EU FP7 project 'BeatHealth' as part of the team at Maynooth University. Additionally, in the last few years he has also been involved in a number of  Commercialisation projects. In 2003 he spent a 3 month research visit at ATR laboratory in Kyoto, Japan, and in 2010 made a research visit to the College of Computing at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society. Alongside his academic work, he also is a keen DIY electronics enthusiast and has built a number of musical devices. He participates annually in the Dublin Maker Festival as part of the Maynooth University team.


Paula Alexandra Silva, Maynooth University, Ireland

Dr Paula Alexandra Silva is a Human-Computer Interaction researcher and practitioner, who focuses on designing user interfaces for older adults. In particular, she is interested in using technology-mediated dance, or any other form of movement to music, with a view to promote quality of life and wellbeing. She is also a passionate teacher, currently lecturing in the Department of Design Innovation in Maynooth University, Ireland. Before, she has held appointments at a number of Universities where she gained experience teaching a diversity of courses and supervising students. She was also a Post-Doc fellow at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a senior Scientist at Fraunhofer Portugal, where she managed the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) area. She earned her PhD in Computer Science awarded by Lancaster University, where she wrote a dissertation on ‘Designing User Interfaces with the BadIdeas Method: Towards Creativity and Innovation’ under the supervision of Professor Alan Dix. 


Hao Wu, Maynooth University, Ireland

Dr. Hao Wu is an assistant lecturer at Computer Science Department of Maynooth University.  He loves to solve challenging software engineering problems and to convey their beauty and complexity to others.