A Brand New Sense

A Brand New Sense explores the potential of an intuitive and accessible movement sonification system to encourage physical activity of older adults in intergenerational settings.


Catalyst R3

Lead Organisation

University of Leeds


Yorkshire and The Humber


Social Support Connections, Sustaining Physical Activity

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About the project

A Brand New Sense (BraNeS) aims to test and develop further echome, a movement sonification prototype, for use by older adults in intergenerational settings. Movement sonification is the real-time production of sound through the user’s movement. It is an emergent cultural practice with applications in the medical domain as well as in popular entertainment. BraNeS capitalises on the growth of movement sonification and seeks to combine the creative and health benefits of the practice by designing a sustainable product that is aligned with the needs and preferences of older adults.

Just like anyone else, when they exercise, older people experience important health benefits. However, a major challenge is to make physical activity an integral and enjoyable part of daily life. Research has shown that a combination of movement and music makes physical activity fun, and people are more likely to adhere to exercise programmes that involve music. Studies have also shown that the social dimension of physical activity is an important factor of enjoyment.

BraNeS explores the use of movement sonification as a form of physical activity that combines creative expression and social interaction. The larger vision is to harness the technology that has developed out of the team’s existing research in order to create a new form of cultural practice that hybridises the kinesthetic and the sonic sense; operates in domestic environments and through simple controls; increases physical activity; invites interaction with others; and encourages creativity and playfulness. The project will follow an iterative design process involving end-users and stakeholders in a series of workshops, interviews and focus groups.


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