Just Noticeable Difference #1 – Semblance

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Just Noticeable Difference: Sensory environment by Chris Salter in collaboration with Marije Baalman and Harry Smoak

JND/Semblance is an interactive installation that explores the phenomenon of cross modal perception: the ways in which one sense impression affects our perception of another sense.

The installation comprises a modular, portable environment, which is outfitted with devices that produce subtle levels of tactile, auditory, visual and olfactory feedback for the visitors, including a floor of vibrotactile actuators that participants lie on, peripheral levels of light, scent and audio sources, which generate frequencies on the thresholds of seeing, hearing and smelling.

In JND/Semblance the SenseStage MiniBees are used for gathering floor pressure sensing data. The SenseWorld DataNetwork is used to gather the raw sensor data, to extract features from it, and to establish flexible mappings to light, sound, and vibration on a platform on which the visitor is lying down, as well as to synchronise the sound and vibration (controlled from SuperCollider) with the light control in Max/MSP.


  • Concept/Direction: Chris Salter
  • Sound Design: Marije Baalman/Chris Salter
  • Sensing/Programming: Marije Baalman
  • Light: Harry Smoak
  • Production Management: Brett Bergmann, Matthieu Tremblay
  • Installation Design/Construction: Duncan Swain, Justine Chibuk, Jan Ohl, Thomas Spier
  • Installation Skin Research and Development: Elio Bidinost/Shannon Collis
  • Technical Direction (Europe): Thomas Spier
  • Management: Dieta Sixt

Funded with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Conseil des Arts et des lettres Qu├ębec.

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