Problem: DJing often requires expensive equipment and software, which is hard for beginners to get started with. Even with the proper equipment, it is confusing and non-intuitive.
Solution: Using the computer's webcam and a LeapMotion device, DJing can be made simpler and truly virtual. The LeapMotion and camera will use computer vision algorithms to recognize specific hand motions and register them as inputs to a DJ program, such as VirtualDJ (through the use of a plugin). With this, the user can use simpler, intuitive gestures to select songs, queue up music, and make mixes!
The doodles below depict the basic setup for the app and sample gesture:
The affordances of this app are the hand gestures that the user makes to the camera. However, only some of these gestures will be registered as inputs. The app will respond by highlighting the specific control (play, pause, song selection) that the recognized gesture refers to. This feedback will indicate to the user whether the gesture was recognized. Since most DJ applications have 2 turntables, gestures with the left hand will control the left turntable and the right hand will control the right side turntable. The two turntables in the software serve as signifiers that indicate to the user that both hands are used to control the deck. Some sample inputs are as follows:
- Browsing Songs: point index finger up to scroll up songs; point index finger down to scroll down song selection
- Selecting Songs: Pinch index finger and thumb to select the highlighted song and queue it on the deck
- Fast Forward/Rewind: Move (flat) hand to the right to fast forward track, and left to rewind track
- Pause/Play: Make a fist to pause track, and thumbs up to play track
Examples of these inputs are shown in the doodle below:
This app can be tested with users who are familar with DJing as well as beginners who want to try mixing songs. The use of the webcam and LeapMotion simplies the interaction with the software so that it is easy to learn and intuitive, making it great for beginners. The app would be best tested with users who are not savvy with the turntable hardware but know how to use the software and have an interest in making music.
Doing a case study with inexperienced users and comparing the results (ability to mix songs) with those who have DJ boards can produce quantifiable results to evaluate the success of the app. If these beginner users are able to easily manipulate the songs and make mixes as well as those who have the other hardware, the app would have successfully augmented the experience of the users and made it a true virtual experience.