Josh Smith is currently a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab in Neil Gershenfeld's Physics and Media group. He and Neil have two patents pending for electric field sensing techniques similar to those featured in the gesture wall.
His contributions to the Brain Opera are more in the area of R&D than production. With Sharon Daniel he developed CAM-8 realtime visual effects featured in Sharon's video work. His microcontroller code handles the low level functions such as MIDI communication for the sensors in several Brain Opera instruments. He also developed a way to use physical symmetry breaking to assign electronic addresses to the Rhythm Tree pads, which allowed Ara Knaian to eliminate manual switches from the design of the pads.
His interests include inference problems, physics of computation, and information hiding, and he holds degrees in philosophy, computer science, and physics. As part of his PhD he will be building a special purpose parallel computer, inspired by the Rhythm Tree, for electric field sensing.