Industrial - Bachelors

Beat Finder

Research findings in the field of dancing Salsa and Bachata show musicality and developing an 'ear for music', is a challenge for new dancers. A skill made even more difficult when attempting to dance with a partner, staying aware of your surroundings, and remembering your own moves. The Beat Finder detects the rhythm and musicality of music and uses pulses of haptic vibration within the wearable to communicate when to step and how to keep track of music while dancing.

Beat finder

Dont just hear it, feel it!

This wearable device is aimed at early dancers, specifically those without a background in music. It is one thing to learn a dance move in a classroom, but being able to interpret fast pace music while distracted by a crowded dancefloor is a completely different task. Add to this a partner who is trying to Lead or Follow, and it makes for a daunting challenge. Juggling new concepts and practices is a problem everyone has had to deal with in one way or another, similar to learning how to drive, having to dedicate 100% of your focus to things that have now become second nature through repetition and practice. The Beat Finder is a wearable arm/leg band that detects music being played, and translates the rhythm into haptic vibrational pulses. This allows the user to focus on practicing numerous other dance concepts without loosing their timing. Similarly, it can be used in social dancing for dancers not confident in staying on time with the music.

Internal components

Internal view of Beat Finder

This view shows the internal electrical components of the Beat Finder. To the left is the microphone, detecting any ambient music being played whether in a classroom or social dancefloor. On its right is the circuit board with sends this information via Bluetooth attachment to a paired smartphone, allowing it to run the audio information through a rhythm detection and prediction program, before sending it back to the wearable. This information is sent to the haptic vibrator on the far right side, pulsing in time with the rhythm and beats of the song being played.

Research Report
File Type
File Size
4 MB
Download File


Due to outdated sources and a general lack of material in the context of Salsa and Bachata, the majority of these findings come from firsthand interviews and surveys. With 4 interviews completed by industry professionals (transcripts located within the DDR), a short but effective survey was able to be created and completed by almost 30 participants. Both forms of research provided critical insight into the problems and opportunities in this area that lead to the ideation and development of the Beat Finder.

Ben Ehmer

Ben Ehmer is a 22-year-old industrial design student at QUT, currently working part-time as a design illustrator for BDA (Boeing Defence Australia). Recently having completed his Design Capstone project, he is exploring potential Industrial Design job opportunities upon completion of his degree.