Rhythmic Skin

Rhythmic skin is a wearable device for one-person musical performances.


rhythmic skin from Nicolas Escarpentier on Vimeo.

Aiming to solve the issue of auditive overload and relieve pressure from the performer, this device sends haptic messages to the back of the user, transmitting only key information about the computerized part of the performance. Moreover, the rhythmic driver can be added-on any existing jacket, only by adding three velcro zones to the interior of the garment.

Underlying technology

The Rhythmic skin relies on a Teensy 3.6 micro-controller. With the native ability to transmit MIDI messages over USB, it provides instant communication with any music software. It uses this protocol to send the metronome beats, as well as receive data about up to 5 different layers of instruments.


Everyday Windows controller
Micro-controller: Teensy 3.6

To transmit the messages, it relies on a simple vibration motor driven by a DRV2605, which provides up to 117 different patterns. This provides enough variation to send unique and detectable messages. They are coupled with an I2C Multiplexer to manage the signals to each haptic motor driver. Vibration Motor + Haptic Driver

The code for the driver and the accompanying performance can be found on the GitHub repository.