2009_2011   Art Application :  Dominique Cunin & Mayumi Okura

Download Video: MP4


Application for iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad

SensorGirl is an artistic experimental application that aims to question the new interactive relationship a user can have with represented objects on nowadays mobile screens. Embedded sensors like accelerometers and gyroscope are opening new modalities of interaction with images : the user’s hand changes the screen physical orientation which can be used to interact with the represented object without any third party device. The screen itself and its relative state can then be directly connected to an object image, linking both in a new way that common controllers like mouse or joysticks don’t permit on usual, non-mobile screens. This idea, based on the screen mobility and on its particular hardware capabilities, shows that a mobile screen is an interaction interface object in itself. SensorGirl is our first artistic proposition showing this new situation in which the screen and what it is representing tends to become the very same object, that we propose to resume with the notion of “image-object”.

For this experiment, our goal was to lead the spectator to manipulate his mobile device in various ways to discover something that can be seen only through this manipulation. In the idea of “image-object”, any object could be used to make the simple demonstration of the link between the screen state given by the user and the state of the represented object. For example, many iOS developers knows about the 3D real-time teapot sample code which demonstrates the use of accelerometers and gyroscope to “turn around” the object. But what is the point in looking at a teapot from all possibles angles ? Why should one wants to see the bottom part of the 3D model ?

The 3D doll brings various context to this situation and allow to go deeper than the demonstration. The primal reaction to try to see what is usually hidden, the embarrassment of being seen by other people in a kind of voyeurism activity or the fascination in front of a doll are subject that can be invoked.

Requirement & Usage :

SensorGirl has been created for iOS devices and is not (yet) available on other plateforms.

It was tested on the following devices : iPod Touch v1, iPod Touch v3, iPhone 4 and iPad v1. It should becompatible with all iOS devices using iOS 3.1.3 and superior. Depending on the device, the manipulation possibilities will change. On devices with gyroscope, every rotation (pitch, roll and yaw) are used to rotate the model. When only accelerometers are available, screen orientation is computed with gravity, which result in less degree of freedom. Compass is not used even when present because of the inconsistency of the values that this sensor returns.

Usage tips : on gyroscope enabled devices, a double tap will recalibrate the sensor. Depending on the time the application was used, you may need to double tap twice to perfectly reset the base rotation axes of the gyroscope.



SensorGirl has been first realized in 2009, in the context of the “Formes de la Mobilité” art research laboratory at Ensad Lab (Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris). Several tests were made, using diffrents programming technics. It was our first attempt to create an artistic work on recent mobile devices. Several other interactive art experiments were done since. SensorGirl and other of our mobile works have been shown in various public art exhibitions and lectures. This application was the starting point of a more general research about the artistic potential of mobile screens that is continuing today.



2009 e-magiciens - Le Lab, Valenciennes, France.

2010 Lift 2010: