This is an introduction to the latest Cariad Interactive project, Somatopia. Somatopia is a partnership with, Raspberry PiCardiff Metropolitan University and a number of schools and arts organisations.

The overarching aim of Somatopia is use the RaspberryPi with the PiCam and microphone to enable people who fancy learning about gesture-based interaction to modify, and ultimately develop, beautiful, playful interfaces. The benefit of using a camera and mic as an input is that it can include many more people, who may otherwise be excluded, to become part of a unique user experience.

The unique context for this project, which sets it apart from its competitors, is that it foregrounds participatory design methods, bringing novice developers together with potential beneficiaries throughout the project lifecycle. We have designed some simple worksheets which we intend to offer with the software, for those keen to understand and practice participatory design. The first round of prototypes to emerge from this process have been tested in a variety of settings, through our engagement with schools, therapy centres and arts organisations – check out the blog for more detail.


We are really keen that people try out Somatopia, and give us some feedback.

You can download the application for the Raspberry Pi here.

In addition we’ve made several documents to go with the software:

  1. A comprehensive user guide to get you started. The guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to download the software, make some really simple modifications to personalise it, and then progress to some really cool, more advanced programming.
  2. A set of documents (Somatopia Passport, Worksheet and Storyboard) to help running workshops and to start conversations between developers and users.

If you would like to be involved in the future development of Somatopia, or to help fund the project, or have any other feedback, please contact us via the About page above.