Skip to main content

Realtime Adaptive Prototyping for Industrial Design of Multimodal Interactive eXpressive technology

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - RAPID-MIX (Realtime Adaptive Prototyping for Industrial Design of Multimodal Interactive eXpressive technology)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2018-01-31

RAPID-MIX brings cutting edge knowledge from three leading European research labs specialising in embodied interaction (Goldsmiths, IRCAM and UPF) to a consortium of five creative industries SMEs (Reactable Systems, Roli, AudioGaming, Orbe and PLUX) to create the next generation of Multimodal Interactive eXpressive systems (MIX) for the fields of music, videogames, and wellbeing.
In order to bring these innovations out of the lab and into market scenarios, RAPID MIX addresses four main technological and design objectives:

1- Build the next generation of Multimodal Interactive eXpressive (MIX) interfaces for natural and seamless interaction in individual and collaborative scenarios.
The project integrates novel wearable hardware, advanced real-time machine learning, and online platforms for data storage and sharing, into a coherent and open set of APIs: the RAPIDMIX-API. These tools are demonstrated in creative domains through new and enhanced products and prototypes.
2- Accelerate the availability of next generation MIX interfaces according to the standards and needs of the creative industry
RAPID-MIX accelerates the transfer of research-based technology from lab to market by integrating innovative proof of concepts in real products, through fast product design cycles covering agile prototyping, API development and integration, and promoting a closer relationship between the 3 research labs and the 5 SMEs who directly exploit these novel/improved products.
3- Establish Design Specifications and Guidelines for the next generation of MIX interfaces.
A solid User-Centred Design (UCD) methodology is deployed considering industrial and end-user needs, production roadmap of SMEs partners, manufacturing requirements, and end-user evaluation in relevant scenarios
4- Improve the SMEs competitiveness within the consortium, and propose a sustainable model for further innovation beyond the project and for the larger industrial European community
RAPID-MIX provides a set of technologies, design guidelines, and infrastructures that are coherent with the SMEs business models, and that will be incorporated in (at least) five new and enhanced products. Beyond the consortium SMEs, the RAPIDMIX-API will be aligned with broader industrial and market needs and available for the creative community through open licenses.
During its final year RAPID-MIX finalized the development of novel wearable hardware and advanced real-time machine learning tools for data analysis, and integrated them into a coherent and open set of APIs: the RAPID-API. This API has been also publicly available through the project website (see www.rapidmixapi.com) and has also been presented in a number of industry and academic conferences. Its official presentation will take place at Mobile World Congress 2018 in a public Keynote event.

The final version of MIX products, created by RAPID-MIX SME partners, integrate components of the RAPID-API. These products, deployed in real market conditions and qualified, are the following:

- PLUX's BITalino (r)evolution, BITalino R-IoT, OpenSignals (r)evolution, OpenSignals.net
- AudioGaming’s reshape and Orchestrator
- Orbe’s Nodal.studio
- ROLI's RAPID-MIX Modules for JUCE, a C++ cross-platform software framework with emphasis on audio
- Reactable’s Snap Motion.

RAPID-MIX has also carried on an important set of UX and user-centred actions, particularly (1) workshops designed to gather partners’ and end-users technical standards and needs, and (2) evaluation with target users whose outcome was used to inform the final design cycle of the API and MIX products. As a result, a final summary of the UCD rationale generated during the 3 years of the project has been also made public. Finally a sustainability model has been created to assure the proper maintenance of the RAPID-API and the continuous support that the API users will request.

The aforementioned achievements are the main outcomes of the third RAPID-MIX product design cycle. In accordance with the DoA, this final cycle formalizes the accomplishment of Milestone 4 (RAPID-MIX technology completed and qualified) which took place in month 36.
We consider that the developments and achievements made during the final year of the project, and their wide visibility in the creative industry (through public events, keynotes and showcases) as well as among creative communities such as developers, creative coders, artists and designers (through workshops and hackathons), has achieved the expected impact proposed in the RAPID-MIX DoA.

During Y3 RAPID-MIX has successfully introduced innovative ICT technologies within the creative industries, by launching the final version of the RAPID-API. This has been released together with a set of prototypes/tutorials that help our user community to demonstrate the different functionalities and features of the API components. The RAPID-API has been designed following guidelines and specifications that guarantee interoperability between hardware and software, and its functionalities were aligned not only with the specific needs of our SME partners, but also with the the general creative industry through public events deployed since the beginning of the project.

We can proudly claim that the RAPID-MIX design cycle has taken place close to professional and end-users to guarantee a good product-market fit. During the reported year the project has updated its corpus of user-centred design methodologies and guidelines to cover MIX product design, that are publicly available to the European creative communities, with the aim of contributing to the leadership of European creative industries in the development of innovative technology products.

Year 3 has also seen cost effective, innovative and high-value products and services delivered by the RAPID-MIX consortium. These innovations took the shape of low cost hardware and software tools, easy to interface with each other (the RAPID-API), and prototypes to demonstrate their utility in different contexts (gaming, music, mobile apps, wellbeing). As shown by the products pushed forward by partner SMEs, the RAPID-API is capable of greatly optimising (cost and time wise) the fast-prototyping of multimodal interactive and expressive interfaces, reducing dependence on ground-up development, and allowing fast prototype-to-product pathways. One of the main aims of the RAPID-API was to increase the cost effectiveness of product development, improving both time efficiency in product design as well as dependence on 3rd party consultancy and research.

All the aforementioned achievements have materialized in the final version of the MIX products that have been released this year/in the following months. Together with the API, these are the most relevant contributions of the project during Y3, as described in the DoA, having a direct impact in real market scenarios during Y3.

Moreover, the SME partner PLUX won the 1st place at the “Innovation Radar Prize” in the “Industrial and Enabling Tech” Category (DG CONNECT) of the European Commission thanks to its new product line powered by RAPID-MIX. Reactable Systems, another SME partner, was also nominated and finalist for the same award.