Assignment 2 : Expressive wearables “Distress Alert”




My idea for this assignment focuses on a wearable that expresses feelings of distress. This is an alert bracelet that can be triggered by tapping on it, that will display colors and sound according to the situation. To use the lights as an advantage, I set them up as morse code. Those who are deaf and blind can immediately know if someone nearby is in distress. It is also useful at night,  to let your surroundings know that you are in need of help. There are two alerts that can let your surroundings know if you are in distress and one alert to let them know you’re okay.  I chose to make it a bracelet because it is the most convenient.

Distress Bracelet Video


Red : Danger    -.. .- -. –. . .-.

This option is for loudly letting your surrounding know you are in critical danger. This has a loud beeping sound.

Blue: Help    …. . .-.. .–.

This option is for discreetly letting your surrounding know you are in an unsafe environment. It has no beeping sound. It is For individuals who are too afraid to speak up and are trapped in an unsafe environment that is invisible to the eye such as an abusive partner…etc.

Green: Fine/good

This option is for individuals who are fine. It only lights up. 



I want to create a wearable that expresses feelings of distress because many people may be facing an issue that the public is not aware of. This can lead them to be in greater danger, specifically for people who are introverts and do not want to cause any commotion. One should always feel safe in dark places and public areas with access to help.



Part List:

  1. Circuit Playground Express
  2. Conductive thread
  3. Conductive fabric
  4. Conductive tape
  5. Cardboard and paper

I cut out all the pieces I would need to encase the Circuit Playground Express.



I attached the conductive fabric onto the CPX then placed the CPX onto the base. I originally used conductive thread and sewn it but I’m not sure why the conductive thread I have is not as conductive. I had to scrap it and rely on conductive tape instead.


I attached the Button Base in the center with the conductive thread with the pin where it will trigger specific light alerts. I originally had four alerts, but it was getting a bit difficult so I now have a total of three alerts.



Then finally, I placed the Medium ring onto the bracelet and wrapped the sides with paper, and made a paper ring to mask the lights. I also used tape to cover the button base because of the ineffective conductive thread.


Circuit diagram


The straps act like a power switch, where when you snap them together it will emit a white light to signal it is on, and you will be able to press on the button. Without snapping the straps, the bracelet will not work. I used pin A5 and Ground as my switch button. The functions in MakeCode are the alert lights that I’ve programmed to emit as morse code.

Strap Demo

Reflections & Next Steps 

I actually struggled a bit by coming up with some ideas because the first idea I had, a classmate had already done it which I had to scrap it and make something different. The straps were a bit too small and I wished that I could have made this neater. Also, it would have been easier to color code which section of the button emits the light instead of guessing. Other than that, I am happy with how this came out and how I managed to use the lights to my advantage. 


“Morse Code Translator.” Morse Code Translator | Morse Code World,

“Morse Code.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,

Sheehan, Angela. “4 Crafty Ways to Make DIY Sewable Electronic Sensors.” SparkFun Education Blog,

“How to Make Your Own Wearable Switch.” News about Energy Storage, Batteries, Climate Change and the Environment, 7 July 2014,

Prior, O. (2021). Digital Switches & Buttons Overview (20 minutes) [Online Lecture]. Retrieved from

Prior, O. (2021). Basic Circuits & Circuit Demonstration [Online Lecture]. Retrieved from


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