Open Project – Weiqi Wu

Detachable Notes





video of Detachable Notes


“Detachable Notes” is a wearable that allows people to attach and detach wearable electronics which might have various functions. The attachment of the day could be decided by users that which components fit the most of that day. For example, if a user might need to walk back home at late night with few lights on the street, he/she could choose to carry the component that could remind the cars or other people that there is a person walking in the dark. Since it is a T-shirt, users will need to wear it directly, not adding on other clothing. Except for the connection between each component, all the component is removable. They could be unattached to avoid the connection or switch with other components. There are three modes now in this wearable. The first mode would be when users click Button A on the circuit playground express, the component in the front will blink 20 times. The second mode is when users click Button B on the circuit playground express, The component on the back will have rainbow light. The third mode is to close everything. Pressing Button A and Button B at the same time, all the action will stop. The purpose of the users of wearing this wearable could be various since it is component-based that could achieve different effects.

This version of the “Detachment Notes” shirt, it includes three components. The one in white-flower shape is for the battery and circuit playground express, allowing them to control and send code to the components. The other two are light components. The yellow flower-looking light component has a meaning of happiness. When the user wears it on the shirt, it indicating a happy emotion. The blinking light is between yellow and orange, trying to deliver a positive emotional effect. The one on the back is a butterfly component. Its work is to remind other people in the dark that there is one person here, avoiding the hit from cars but looks beautiful at the same time.

There will be more components along with the development, however, in the first version, there will be only two versions being shown.


Idea & Inspiration

The inspiration first came from a tutorial from Kobakant ( It is an Electromagnetic Velcro. However, the author indicates that it will turn out hot and burn the fabric and it might not be stable. I got the inspiration to separate the circuit into two pieces and decided to use the press button that I explored in exploration journal 3 instead. So, I could put the CPX and the battery on the clothing and connect the pins with one side of the press button. And then use a separate fabric with another side of the press button as well as the circuit including the input and output.

Also, I think it could be really interesting that explore and create a wearable that the components could be add on or remove, which similar to a device such as a phone. The clothing’s connection-based like a physical phone and the components is the application that features on it.

What I am Creating

I tried to use the LED string as the light source. And the press button will have a similar effect with the switch. Only when the button is connected, the circuit is complete. On the components, there will be some conductive press buttons and some non-conductive press buttons, they were used for connecting to the circuit and help for fixing the position of the components respectively. On the clothing, using conductive thread and conductive fabric to connect the buttons to help close the circuit. The connection is fixed on clothing. Component One, flower shape with white and orange colours, the purpose of it is to share the warm, optimistic, happiness emotion to others. Component Two, butterfly shape with purple and white colours, the purpose of it is to remind other people that there is someone in case it is really dark and can barely see people on street.


The object of “Detachment Notes” is trying to explore more on the separation on the clothing and the wearable electronic so that could see the difference from the wearable that is sewing and fix on the clothing. With the Detachment Notes, users have more freedom on it. It is not specific to one topic. And users are allowed to have some customization of how it will look and what functions it is going to perform by selection materials, function, and different sensors. For me, it looks like a”LEGO” in the wearable technology area.


  • Comfort: The components and connection parts are all fixed on the outside of the t-shirt. They don’t have a direct connection with skin except for the arm. At the same time, it is made of soft material which is friendly to the skin.
  • Durability: Since the circuit playground express and all the other electronic components are detachable, so uses could remove all the electronic parts and use water to wash the cloth. Moreover, most of the sewing part is hidden under the fabric so that it could keep the thread away from damage.
  • Usability: Since it is a components-based wearable, users could always add more or switch to another component that has different functions on clothing. Therefore, it could fulfill most of the needs of users. The only problem will be the there is no way to change the background since it is fixed on the t-shirt.
  • Aesthetics: In my point of view, the aesthetics of the “Detachable Notes” is well fitted in this topic. As I mentioned just now, it looks like a “LEGO” toy to me, therefore, it is more cartoon style. And I believed that there are people who also love this style. Moreover, on the t-shirt, the cloud and glass are for hiding the conductive thread and fabric, so that it is there in purposed. If some users don’t like the style, it could always able to change into another theme and style, as long as it is having the same functions.


Ideation drawing


At the beginning drawing of the idea, I was planning to create two rectangle components with two materials and two effects.


After some brainstorms, the idea has been iterated. The form and shape of the components are not fixed anymore, And it is a garden theme that has glass, flowers, butterfly on it. In this drawing, I put a heart that could be active by capacitive touch, however, due to the time consuming, I decided to give up this component.


This is the detailed design I planned to create in these components.


I get out how the light will perform under the cotton and adding a felt sheet on top.

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Cutting ut the pieces. I cut out a hole because I would like more light could be delivered from the LED strip.

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Similar to butterfly components, cutting out and creating a hole for more light comes out.

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Similar to the butterfly components, cutting our, creating a spot for the CPX and the battery.


Testing the LED strip. And this is the video.

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After the consideration, I decided to add two more buttons in order to have capacitive touch, for the purpose of activating the code. However, after the consideration of time, I decided not to do it in this project.

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Due to the covid-19 situation in Tronto, there are fewer places that sell art supplies, Micheal only got two packs of the conductive version of the press button. The black one in non-conduction. But I need the more button that is conductive, therefore, I taped the copper type on the button to make it conductive, and it works as expected.


Using conductive fabric for the main part to replace the conductive thread. so that it will be cleaner when looking at the outside.



Connect the LED strip to the conductive buttons. Also, testing if it works. The LED strip is in series connection.

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Working on the connection part where need to place the press buttons in the right place, and having conductive thread and fabric to connect between each press buttons. Also, testing if the connection is good in the circuit.




The final look. It looks great and cute. The light can not really see it when it’s super bright outside. But it is really clear in a darker area. The video could be found at the top of the page.

Part lists

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- Circuit Playground Express
- 60 WS2812 RGB Addressable LED Strip
- 3.7V 400mAh Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery
- Conductive thread
- Conductive fabric
- Copper tape
- Non-conductive
- Press buttons (conductive x 2Packs and non-conductive x 2Packs)
- Felt with various colours (Purple, Orange, Green, Darker Green, White)
- Cotton Balls
- Sewing set
- Scissors
- Another type of fabric
- Glue gun

Code and Circuit Diagram


MakeCode Link


Reflection and Next Steps


During the process of making, I need to plan ahead and buy more materials. The reason why I use copper tape on the black press button is that there is not enough for the needs. So for the next or future course-related assignment, I would prefer but more than what I think I need, which allows me some areas to change my idea. Also, I did not use different materials as mediums for the components. If using different materials as an example, it would be more interesting and understandable for the user to get the advantages of the detachable wearable technology. It is a pity that I did not contain capacitive touch or any sensors in the project. This related back to my first problem that did not have enough conductive touch for additional sensors. Moreover, I did something wrong in the arrangement of the button. For the butterfly, the arrangement of the button is “ground”, “data pin”, and “Vout” from top to the bottom, however, the arrangement in the yellow follow is “Ground”, “Vout” and “data pin”. So that when they exchange the position, the light is not working.

Next Step

For the next step, first fix the arrangement of the position of the bottom and make it work. And then I would like to produce more components for the clothing. Also, I would like to try using some sewing techniques on the component sheet so that it looks more aesthetic. In addition, adding sensors and sensors as one of the components would be a great idea as well! The component sheet is not fixed to the sensor using as well!


Blaine, E. S. (2019). LED NeoPixel Corset with Circuit Playground Express and MakeCode. Adafruit Learning System.

Halleux, P. de. (2017). NeoPixels with MakeCode. Adafruit Learning System.

YouTube. (2019). Behind the MakeCode Hardware - NeoPixels on Circuit Playground Express. YouTube.

VELCRO, E. L. E. C. T. R. O. M. A. G. N. E. T. I. C. (2020). HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT.

Park, J. (2020). No-Touch Hand Wash Timer for Circuit Playground Express and CLUE. Adafruit Learning System.




Expressive Assignment – Weiqi Wu




Video of the work


“Falling in Love” is an expressive wearable electronic tube top that could help people to express their feeling of falling in love with someone, having a crush on, or being attracted to someone, without being embarrassed. But at the same time, it would be pretty and interesting to wear it in a normal situation. Customers could directly wear it or wear it on top of other clothes. The rope in the front is adjustable, so it could fit in easily. Its normal status of the tube top is the fading blue light, which representing being peace and calm. When users feel excited or falling in love, they could put their hand on the position of their heart, it will turn red and blinking to show others your excitement and emotion. The light will be more obvious during the nighttime.


Idea & Inspiration

The inspiration first came from the meditation. In the beginning, I would like to make clothes with blue light fading that express the emotion of peacefulness. And later when adding the button which is a heart shape, I decided to change the theme. The heart shape reminds me of the story of my friend that she could not tell the guy that she had a crush on him because she is too shy. So I decided to make clothes that could help people to express and deliver their emotions of falling in love or having a crush on someone.

What I am Creating

I try to use two colours of LED lights to help to express the emotions. Through the research, blue represents calm and red could represent love. Also, in order to fit the conditions of the two moods, the blue LED lights will do fading effect to show calm and peacefulness; the red LED lights will do the blinking effect to show the excitement and the heartbeat. Also, with the blinking effect, it is easier to grab others’ attention.

The clothing used the Circuit Playground Express (CPX), LED lights, and conductive thread. There are blue lights and red lights, representing different modes. The circuit is connected parallel. When it connects to the power source, it will have fading blue light as default. The blue light represents calm and peace, which refer to as the normal status of people. The red light is activated when people put their hands on the position of their hearts. The red light will be blinking to attract the attention of others so that they could know your feeling and emotion. At the position of the heart, there is a “button”, when people put their hand over the button, it will fulfill the condition so that the red lights are on and the blue lights are off. When people move their hand away from the heart position, it will return to the blue light again.


The objective of “Falling in Love” is trying to help people to express their emotions of falling in love, having a crush on, or being attracted to someone, without feeling embarrassed. I found out that many people are shy or not brave enough to express their love or crush on others. There is also another reason which is that they are afraid of being embarrassed. For example, when one is attracted by someone, but they don’t know each other, if you are a shy person, it will be good if there is a signal that could show your feeling of being attracted. In this way, people don’t need to go up and talk directly. They could interact with the signal of the lights first and deliver the feeling.


Ideation drawing


First ideation drawing: Inspired by meditation, showing the emotion of peacefulness. I first plan to use a sweater to do the project. The LED light is sewing on the sweater, and there will be some decorative materials to cover the LED lights. And on the right is the circuit diagram that I draw for the project.



The final ideation drawing: I decided to make it into a tube top instead of sewing things on the sweater. And after making the heart-shaped button, I decided to change the theme to show the feeling of falling in love. On the top right is the circuit diagram that I draw for this idea. And the photo below shows the ideation drawing.

Images of the work in process

img_1957-1img_1921-1 Testing the circuit with alligator clips



Following the first idea, testing different materials on the clothes. And check how the light will go through the decorative materials.


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Redesign the look of the expressive wearable. Test out how it will look again, as well as the light and the materials.



Decided to use this material as the decoration on the clothes, since it has the best effect of the light diffusing.



Sew three pieces of fabrics together to make it a tube top. Adding rope in the middle.


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Sew the LED lights on the clothes, as well as the CPX (using conductive thread). Made a heart-shaped button. The button will control the circuit.


Inspired by the heart-shaped button and the love story of my friend, decided to change the theme to express the feeling of falling in love.


Testing the circuit with alligator clips. In this circuit, when it is normal situation, the blue light will fading, CPX will always has blue light on with no effect. When the button is pressed, the CPX will turn pink, the LED lights will turn red, and the red light is blinking.


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Testing if it is work on the clothes with one blue LED light and red LED light sewed on, as well as button.



Sew all the LED lights with conductive thread. Testing is in the video.




Cover all the parts with non-conductive materials. Inside, I used black fabric to cover. Outside, I used white tulle fabric. Testing the effect.



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The finish look! The video is at the beginning of the blog.

Part List

- Circit Playground Express 
- LED lights with blue and red colours
- Conductive thread
- Conductive fabric
- Felt (white)
- Tulle fabric (white)
- Yarn (black)
- Fabric (black)
- Glue gun

Code & Circuit Diagram

123The LED lights are connected parallel. A1 is connected to the red LED lights. A2 is connected to the blue LED lights. A3 is connected to the button.


Reflections & Next step


During the process of making the wearable clothing, I found out that it is easy to sew the conductive thread to the wrong side of the led light. For the next time, I should indicate which side is the positive side first, so that it will save a lot of time for the sewing process without resewing something. Also, it is messy with the sewing, for the next time, I should plan well for the sewing part.

Next Step

For future development, I think that sound could be incorporate into the project. For the people who have a disability of sight, they could figure out the status by listening to the sound. At the same time, the different effects of the LED lights could help them to figure out as well (Like the fading and blinking effect now of the wearable clothing). Moreover, the tube top is more for females, maybe there could be other versions for males, children, old people. Another choice will be to redesign the work that makes it into an attachable object that could attach to other clothing. Adding a heartbeat sensor in it might be a good idea as well. So that the light will change automatically depending on the heartbeat. But it will have the problem of delivering the wrong message to others since nervousness will also make the heartbeat go fast.

Resources and related works 

Inspiration work:

Expressive wearable. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2021, from

I inspired by its form.


Amsen, E. (2019, July 16). Why some shapes make you feel calm and other shapes seem angry. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from

Gremillion, A. (2020, June 30). How color impacts emotions and behaviors. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from,also%20make%20you%20feel%20calm.

Skill Level: Beginner, & Dia | August 30, 2. (n.d.). Decorative conductive Fabric button – SparkFun Electronics. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from

Speculative Wearable – Connecting Jacket (Weiqi Wu)


Idea One


Idea Two


Idea Three (This is the one that I picked for the assignment)



The “Connecting Jacket” is a relationship detector that could indicate the relationship between people. And it helps people to create connections with others in the real world. The jacket uses several types of heat-sensitive fabrics that react to different temperature ranges, which display various colours when the temperature reaches the ranges. When people near a person that often contact, the microcontroller receives the signal from others, and it will control the temperature to a specific range, so the heat-sensitive fabric will reveal red colours. When people near a person that sometimes contact, the heat-sensitive fabric will reveal the yellow colour. When the fabric show green colour, it indicates that people meet someone that has contact information but did not contact for a while. This is design for everyone.


The inspiration of the “Connecting Jacket” is trying to connect people together. During the pandemic, people start to lose the physical connection with friends or colleagues. Although people could meet each other online, it will not give me the sense of connecting in reality. I feel more disconnected from the world after the meeting. One of the problems is that while people are wearing face masks, it is not easy to recognize others on street. Therefore, the changing of the colours on the jacket could help people to find out that their friends are nearby. Being able to connect with others in real life are really necessary to fulfill social needs. Wearing a jacket and face mask, people could find their friends and communicate safely.



The microcontroller, the signal sender, and the signal receiver will locate at the inner side of the jacket. The temperature-sensitive fabric will be sewed on the outer side of the jacket. There will be using conductive fabric to connect. The heating metal wire locates at the inner side of the temperature-sensitive fabric.


The front side of the jacket


The backside of the jacket (left); The inner of the jacket with the microcontroller and the conductive wire (right)


The paper prototype jacket (on-people look)

How to activated

It will be activated by opening the microcontroller, the signal sender, and the signal receiver first. With the origin state, it should be the white colour of all the temperature-sensitive fabric. To change the colour of the fabric, people need to meet a person that has contact information. And the whole system will work and the heating metal wire will work. After the temperature reaches the range, the colour of the temperature-sensitive fabric will change.

Interaction and States

To have interaction with the jacket see the states of different situations, you have to wear it and meet people.

  • When you meet someone that you have the contact information, but you haven’t talked in a while, the heating metal wire will be heated to around 40 degrees, the first type of temperature-sensitive fabric will change the colours from white to green.


  • When you meet someone that you have the contact information and sometimes communicate with, the heating metal will be heated to around 45 degrees, the second type of temperature-sensitive fabric will change the colours from white to yellow.


  • When you meet someone that you always stay in contact with, the heating metal will be heated to around 50 degrees, the third type of temperature-sensitive fabric will change the colours from white to red.


When it is rainy, due to safety reasons, the "Connecting Jacket" is not recommended to wear, since it has wires and a battery on the jacket.

Material mood board


- Jacket
- Microcontroller
- Conductive Thread
- The non-conductive yarn for covering the conductive thread
- RGB LED lights (since I don't have temperature-sensitive fabric at home, I would like to use RGB LED light instead. Same situation with same status, only the fabric become the lights.)
- Resistor (220K)


  • Generra Hypercolor Shirt 
Hypercolor was a line of clothing, mainly T-shirts and shorts, that changed colour with heat.

Video of the Generra Hypercolour Shirts 1991

  • Body Electric
BODY ELECTRIC is a response to our growing dependence on information technology; the garments embody its omnipresent yet intangible nature.

A parallel is draw between the uniform in clothing and technology’s way of homogenizing and flattening. In order to reveal the intimate, the unique, we must look into the screen, through these windows.

The uniform pieces of the collection are inspired by classical workwear items, whose seams, pockets, collars, become the basis of incisions. This dissection of the uniform reveals the expressive self; a hand-embroidered electronic circuit: the fusion of human and computer anatomies.

This intimate garment reveals what hides beneath the skin. Veins and sinuous networks become visible through optic fibres and intricate hand-work. Heart sensors capture the body’s pulse and make it visible to the eye in waves of light, emanating from the embroidery.

Through a fusion of craft, handwork and technology, we are able to see the invisible, and bring to light a new dimension of expression.



  • C. (2019). 1991 – Generra Hyper Color Shirts – Heat Makes It Happen … Retrieved January 26, 2021, from
  • Daguin, C. (2016). BODY ELECTRIC. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from