VIDI I

The  VIDI project at UW-Madison was first conceived around 1983 by Stephen Dembski, Professor of Music and Composer, shortly after the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) protocol standard was released.  In 1995, UW-Madison a Computer Science graduate student under Professor Dembski’s supervision made the first attempt to implement VIDI. The graduate student used a 3-D computer-vision system that was implemented on a general purpose microcomputer. Due to hardware limitations, the system’s response was too sluggish (i.e. latency duration was too great) to be used as a component for a a real-time music performance. During that era, we were aware of one system that, using two-dimensional information, may have provided a limited subset of the functions that we envisioned, but we knew of nothing available that either provided our desired functionality, or worked with visual information in three dimensions.