A2: Expressive Wearable – Ivy Sun (3183268)

Concept

Mine is called “WatchGhost”, which could refer to a watchdog, and it seems kind of Halloween vibe. Basically, it is a wearable ghost that uses an external switch to create different vibes/light colours, expressing different moods. It is a digital badge embedded in a sweater. When I wear it normally, it is in its default state. The ghost’s eyes and mouth are light green, indicating that I am chill and nothing happened. But if I feel irritable or someone is too close to me, I will enable the external switch, which is embedded in the bottom left inside of the sweater, so that the lil ghost flashes a warning red light for 5 seconds. The red little ghost can be seen as an expression of my attitude and a visualization of my “negative” emotions, also a way of communicating with the outside/others. As long as the demon red light is not triggered, the ghost is always a friendly green ghost. Besides, the little ghost could also be regarded as my electronic wearable pet, and I can bring it anywhere. From another perspective, the colour-mood is watchghost’s own expression; it becomes angry only when I oppress it or pinch it.


Objective

In fact, this project can be said to be a self-protection system for a lonely person during the pandemic, and it is also a process of pleasure. What I want to convey is the concept of visual emotion expression and portable pets. When the wearer is alone, I hope the user can entertain herself, knowing that she is not alone. Moreover, when the wearer is outdoors, red light sources can be used to express rejection. This will be a relief or comfort to a sensitive and isolated person like me.


Process

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At first, I had other two ideas about wearable badges, one is to express a crush on someone and the other is to smile. But later I decided to build a more personalized one, that is more related to my current state.

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Ivy Sun# pre-test#1

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After ideation, I modified the code we learn from previous lectures and started by setting up the initial connection with alligator clips and then adding conductive fabric pieces, which went smoothly! Then, I sketched some circuit diagrams and the embedded position/order of each component.

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Also, I tried to use different materials to diffuse light and finally decided to use a dry wipe, which is nonwoven fabrics.

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Prototyping… Sewing…

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test#3

test#4

test#5


Final Project Images

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WatchGhost demo#6

WatchGhost demo#7


Parts List

  • Circuit Playground Express
  • USB (A) to Micro (B) Cable
  • Conductive Thread
  • Nonwoven Fabric
  • Normal Thread
  • Plastic
  • Felt
  • Sweater
  • Other Materials (Alligator clips, Tape, Sewing needles, Scissors, Glue, Tissue, Dry wipe)

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Circuit Diagram

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Reflections & Next Steps

The ideation part is essential. If the ideas could be expanded with multiple solutions, the best one would be correspondingly found and the rest practice process will be much smoother. However, it is not enough just thinking, we will still encounter many troubles in actual production, such as the inability to accurately determine the position when sewing components. Therefore, it needs to be marked in advance every single time, which could save a lot of time. I so regret not doing that this time, because I felt I could skip that step. Although the recording process seems a little cumbersome, it is worth it. I am sure that I will make the process video into a vlog as a souvenir. Furthermore, as a raw/immature artist, sometimes I am just not that confident to express some personal stuff and deep topic, yet a project letting us explore ourselves gives me the outset. The entire process is definitely enjoyable, and I believe such kind of exploration will be continuous. Regarding the expectation of the course, I hope to keep exploring various interesting things, integrating sounds, lights, electronics into creative wearable forms. Last but not least, some keywords mentioned in lectures need to be further explored as well, and there are some related fields such as responsive environment, tangible media, etc., which can be considered as the direction of my future studies.


Resources & Related Works

Iaconesi, S. (2010). Wearing Emotions: Physical Representation and Visualization of Human Emotions Using Wearable Technologies. 2010 14th International Conference Information Visualisation, 1-7. doi:10.1109/iv.2010.38

Signoretta, E. (2020, August 21). Wearable Electronic Badge. Retrieved February 12, 2021, from https://www.open-electronics.org/wearable-electronic-badge/

Vega Edge. (2019, March 01). Retrieved February 12, 2021, from http://socialbodylab.com/vega-edge/

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