The Wekinator

The Wekinator is a software application developed by Rebecca Fiebrink which uses machine learning principles in order to help develop interactive systems. The GUI provides the user with a way to ‘create machine learning models from scratch, without any programming’.

A number of example applications are suggested including development of musical instruments, video games and other systems for gesture analysis and feedback. The Wekinator supports OSC so any device that can output OSC can be used as a controller and anything that can receive OSC can be controlled. A list of hardware and software that support OSC can be found on the opensoundcontrol website. As an example, a user may want to use a Wiimote accelerometer to control the volume of a sound. So the first thing they would need to do is perform the specific gesture a number of times and associate them to the volume parameter. The wekinator creates a mapping relationship between these two values and starts to develop new mapping relationships between inputs and output parameters.

The following diagram, sourced from the ChucK/Wekinator integration instructions, provides an overview of the system.

wekinator system

FlexiGesture

The FlexiGesture dates from 2003 and is a device created to explore the relationship between input gesture and output sound.

For the majority of traditional acoustic instruments, the relationship or mapping between the input gesture and output is predominantly fixed. The advent of digital technology has allowed for the separation between the input and output, and with it the potential of defining new mapping systems.