DIGF-2016 Open Project:Lighting bowknot

  1.  The main element is Circult Playground Express, which uses 2 switches to change the animation of the lights.
  2. There is a pin on the back of the bow, which can be attached to the clothes.
  3. Random color lights look bright.



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Sewing kit (with scissors), conductive thread, Circuit Playground Express, USB wire, small DC Buzzer with Leads, hot melt gun, A cloth, gauze, ribbon, curved brass basting pins.



img_20220426_223022 img_20220426_223044




Prior, O.  (2022). WORKSHOP: Variable Resistors DIY(45~min)[Online Lecture]. Retrieved from https://canvascloud.ocadu.ca/courses/2871/pages/workshop-variable-resistors-diy-45~-min?module_item_id=246717

Prior, O.  (2022). Wearability(1).pdf[Online Lecture]. Retrieved from https://canvascloud.ocadu.ca/courses/2871/files/1451417?module_item_id=250253

Distance sensitive jacket(Prototype)



Distance sensitive jacket (Prototype)




The wearable is a kid jacket/raincoat with pockets and a hoodie. I will sew conductive thread and fabrics throughthe jacket to connect all the circuit parts to each other. Components are Lilypad LEDs, a neopixele stripe, iron buttons, small battery pack. I’ve tried to design a special space for each component and cover them not to touch  bare skin and also design away so the battery could be charged without removing from the jacket.


The aim of the design “Distance Sensitive Jacket” is to keep a constant physical distance between parents and kids,  especially when they are in crowded places like a playground or a mall or even public areas like camping or the airport’s passenger section. As we know if we don’t watch our kids even for a moment they might go somewhere out of our sight and then we have to search for them with lots of stress and fear. My concept is to design a wearable that has a non-stop connection with both parents and kids so any time the kids exit the safe distance zone from their parents the gadget with the parent will alarm and notify them to look for the child at the moment. Also, the kid’s wearable starts flashing colourful lights so parents are able to recognize their loved ones faster among others.



How to function:

The design use the infrared capability of the Circuit Playground Express for making the connection between two parts of the wearable(the toddler jacket and the parent’s alarm part, which is another Circuit Playground Express).

I decided to use a DIY switch as a starting point to start the circuit, for this purpose I used a metal button and set pull pin block to Make it work. So by connecting DIY switch to the A1 port on Circuit Playground Express and also to GND the circuit is ready to start. Before the circuit starts the pull pin is set up for the A1 port, and by closing the button which in my design it is located on the pocket the pin A1 status changes to “Down”, which is the start of sending signals via Infrared.

By starting sending signals, whenever the other Circuit Playground Express (which I call the second Circuit Playground Express) is in the range all warning and glowing and flashing stop.

Inputs are A1 pin connected to DIY E-textile switch ON or OFF to start the circuit. infrared Receiver.

Outputs are: Infrared transmitter, play sound, strip Animation, stop sound, RGB light on or off, console log.

The scenario is to have a number or variable which each time infrared chooses a number and transmits it, the receiver will take this number and reacts. While interacting, both boards send and receive signals at the same time and create a cycle to stop the warning lights and sound.



par2  par3

Also for each transmit and receive cycle a fixed number is set so each time in transmitter and receiver boards this number will be set as default and if no signal is received by the board then the board will react to this fixed number and starts the alarm actions. I used a pause block to let the code check if a signal is receiving or not. In future I will try to use the javascript “delay” or “wait” function for a better result.



During the proposal assignment for this project, I found that insulation is really important and critical when we are working with more delicate, sensitive and uncovered components like a conductive thread. working with uncovered components increased the chance of having a short circuit.

So I decide to make strong insulation in my circuit. After exploring different materials I found a craft string that has a silky texter and round shape which makes it a good choice for use as a cover for the conductive thread.

First I fixed the Circuit Playground Express on a piece of fabric, then I made my circuit with hand-crafted, insulated, conductive thread. The circuit has two DIY switches that I’ve used 2 metal bottoms to make them.

I’ve embedded a Neo Pixel LED string in the edge of the jacket. I’ve made some holes to make individual LEDs more visible.

In addition to the LED string, 2 lily Pad LEDs are embedded on the jacket’s hoodie.

Also as I’ve used the inferred function of the Circuit Playground Express, I needed to use two circuit playground Express controller in my design(one of them embeded in the jackets sleeve and second one would be with parents).

Process images:

s2  m20

bbn        m25

m26      m22

m27  m16 m18


m8 m6 m15

m3  m77m10


Video of the prototype in action :

Work cited: 



Sound/Light Hat

  • Concept
    • A hat that sensors music and neopixels brightness go up and down according to the music volume. A capacitive touch sensor that turns the hat’s lights on and off. 
  • Parts List
    • Flora RGB smart neopixel version 2 – sheet of 20
    • Conductive thread
    • Circuit playground express
    • Conductive fabric
  • Process
    • I first started by making a drawing of the hat and how I wanted it to look. I was also unsure about where to place the neopixels, so this drawing has them at the top and bottom. It also has a capacity touch sensor to turn it on/off.


I also researched the flora neopixels, since they have to be placed in a specific way and a small mistake, like not following the arrows can ruin the lights.


  • Circuit Diagram
    • This is what the circuit would look like. The positive is connected to “VOUT”, the negative to “GND” and the lights to “A1”. The lights have arrows that have to be followed for the circuit to work.


  • Code
    • This code changes the brightness of the lights according to the sound of the environment. The lights have a random colour, which means they are always changing colour and the brightness is the only thing affected by the sound. The capacitive touch turns off the lights.


  • Final Project Images 
    • Inside
      • The inside of the hat has extra felt to make sure the thread isn’t visible on the outside. I use tape for the prototype because at the time my circuit wasn’t fully functional.

img_7281 img_7282

  • Outside
    • The outside of the hat is very minimal, I thought of adding an extra layer to diffuse the lights but decided not to since I liked how the neopixels looked and because this is more like a party hat diffusing the lights isn’t necessary.

img_7283 img_7243img_7287

  • Reflections & Next Steps
    • I think my stitching wasn’t the best, therefore the lights wouldn’t turn on every time. If I do closer and stronger stitching it would work, so for the next step, I’d like to re-do the stitching and find a new way to hide the sticking from the outside of the hat.
  • Resources & Related Works
    • Core Electronics. (2018a). Circuit Plaground – Colour Matching with MakeCode [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Qt9f1mQHAk
    • Core Electronics. (2018b). Sound Reactive Lights Project with Circuit Playground & MakeCode [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNxQ9dT0kqY
    • Hackster.io. (2020, September 23). NeonDancer 9000. Hackster.io; Hackster. https://www.hackster.io/jack59/neondancer-9000-3723b6

Coding Exploration – Tim Chou

In this blog post, I would like to explore how to make a Tron animation using an RGB light strip.

Okay maybe not as cool as these but it should look like something similar.




In order to create a Tron-like light trail animation, the neopixels will have to turn on and off individually from one pixel to another. Pressing button A on CPX will initiate an animation running in one direction; pressing button B, the light will run in the opposite direction.


Make code:


What worked?

In make code, I made a for loop that creates an index that the CPX will use to refer to the pixels’ positions. (index 0 = pixel 1, index 1 = pixel 2, etc.) The for loop will count from 0 to 20, which is the total number of pixel on my light strip, creating the animation. At the same time, I added two lines of code in JS mode (strip.setPixelBrightness(index+1,255),(index-1, Fade)) to make the first light the brightest and the fading the brightness of the two following pixels aim to create the fading tail.

For the opposite direction, the code has to be inverted but there is no way to create a for loop with the descending count. So again, I made this function in JS,  which worked perfectly running in the opposite direction!

What didn’t work?

The fading effect for the tail worked only for the first button push. For some reasons, the light trail (the two following fading pixels) won’t show the second time running the animation. The problem is still not resolved…

Open Project: Touch sleeve


For this open project, there were many ideas I considered:

Shoulder Armour, Zipper interaction, Bracelet, Mask. 

Hoodie: This hoodie would sense movement of putting it on the hood on the head, and LED’s would turn on behind the head to show less visibility of the wearer’s face.

Scales;  When the scales move, there is light detection that would have scales glow

Skirt: the pleated skirt would have LEDs at the bottom, and should brighten with movement

Arm Sleeve: This is the one I worked on, it would have conductive strips to change the colour of the LEDs. 


Inspired by yu gi oh, duel sleeve. I wanted to create the idea of it as if you are placing a card down on your arm. It would pay homage, and be aesthetically pleasing.

4 points of wearability 

I went for comfort, it was important to have the sleeve still flexible for the arm to stretch out all the way. I had to use the LED strips because there were no neo pixels available to buy. I had to keep the LEDs strips loose so the arm could move freely. 

The wires would be insulated from the body underneath. And over top, so there won’t be any random shocking. 

The conductive touch is on the arm for easy accessibility for the touch button or places that the cards go. 

The placement of LEDs isn’t distracting to the user unless they look at their arm. 



1 2




Experiment with Code



Final project items

Golfing sleeve

Tinfoil lined cards




Parts lits

LED strips

Conductive fabric

Conductive thread

Circuit diagram




Overall I think this project was very fun to do, and experiment with the LEDs. I wish I had a chance to use the neo pixels, but that’s for another time. Using the hard to soft connection was difficult at first, but I used crimping beads to combine the conductive thread and the LED wires together. For the code, I thought make code would be able to detect touches at the same time, but it does not. I had to change up the code to true and false commands for when the fabric is touched. sometimes the hardware is a bit tricky to output the command but most of the time it works.

Another problem I had with this project was a short circuit with all the thread on the arm.

Next Steps

I would like to refine the sowing and use the thread. Making it look like a complete product. I would switch out the LED strips to neo pixels.




Open Project Prototype

dsc_0043 dsc_0044

My project for this assignment was to make a wristband that can connect to your phone, that would allow you to interact with what music is playing, allowing you to change tracks and pause what is playing without needing to take your phone out of your pocket or backpack

Wiring Diagram


I decided to keep the wiring simple and simply improve on the rather overbuilt design from my last project by having the conductive fabric pads be close to each other, allowing the contacts to be bridged by simply using one finger to cross the gap.

While difficult to see, I used clear tape as a method to attach and secure the conductive thread in place as the cloth was quite thick.


I also decided to keep the code on the simple side and make it so simply pressing a set of contacts would trigger the led without restricting use of the other buttons, as the main point is to allow quick navigation and shuffling of a set of songs without restriction.


Out of all the things that I would change with this project, the main one would be the material I used when sewing my circuit together, as the cloth material I chose was quite difficult to sew into, and as a result, I was unable to sew the circuit in the way i had originally wanted to.

I would also alter how the conductive thread is connected to the CPE as sometimes it would fail to register the inputs from the conductive fabric pads used to interact with it.

I don’t know how to add a video link to demonstrate it working, so I have e-mailed it to you instead.

Tim Chou – Open Project Prototype


The idea of this project is to use a zipper as the switch to trigger LED light strips. There are three points of open switches sew-in alone the fly that will close when the zipper touches them. When the wearer zips up the jacket the zipper will first touch switch A, which closes the circuit, and triggers the light strip that is attached next to the fly to play an animation that looks like the neopixels are following the zipper. When the zipper passes switch B and hit the last switch on the top of the fly, switch C, the light strip that’s attached to the inner collar will play a rainbow animation for 2 seconds. When the zipper goes down and hit switch B, The first light strip will play an animation that follows the zipper down.



The objective of this project is to create an expressive jacket that reacts to motions. It is also an expressive outfit that would attract attention in darker environments.



    • Because of the thick protective layer on the light strips, they create some weight both at the center of the torso and the back of the neck that can feel a bit uncomfortable within 10 minutes.
    • When the zipper is closed, the light strip near the fly creates some resistance when the wearer leans forward, causing some difficulties in performing the action.
    • The light strip behind the neck is obvious for viewers, but hard to notice by the wearer, so the wearer has to keep turning his head to check if the lights are working.
    • The light strip behind the neck got a bit warm so it was a little scary when wearing it.


Process Images:


    • img_6680

Final images and demonstration:



    • img_6683 img_6684


Parts List

    • LED light strip
    • Conductive thread
    • Crimping beads

Circuit Diagram

Reflections & Next Steps

    • This is overall a really fun project to work on. The part when the code is actually working is very satisfying, but the sewing part is still a bit difficult as my circuit did not work at the end so I was forced to use alligator clips for demonstration. I also encounter a problem when I was creating the switches on the fly, I stiched them too much and they became too thick so that the zipper couldn’t pass through. Lesson learnt..



Resources & Related Works (cited in APA)

How to get what you want. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2022, from https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=2620

Open Project: Prototype Zhiye Yang


In this final, my idea is to create a key chain to avoid collisions with people. In our life, when we are in a hurry, we will run in a hurry, and in this process, we will collide with each other because of people who walk too slowly in the street. Therefore, in order to avoid this problem, I created this alarm that can remind others or myself.


The idea this time is that the key chain can be hung anywhere in the body, such as the arm, the front of the schoolbag, the belt, and so on. When running or running too fast, there will be a red light. The red light means to remind the people around me that my speed is relatively fast, so I can avoid it properly. At the same time, I can also remind myself to pay attention to the passers-by and my speed to avoid any unnecessary collisions. When you collide with others, the key chain will flash white light. This light is to remind yourself and others to say sorry to each other in time.

The 4 points of wearability 

Detachable. Can be hung anywhere on the body. During the creation, considering that this product is a product used many times, the design form is a device that can be removed at will, which can be reused many times, and can also be matched according to different clothes and hung in different places; Durable. In the process of creation, I use materials that can be disassembled for washing, so that they will not be damaged when they are cleaned and used many times; Lightweight. In the design process, because it is about the items worn on the body, it is necessary to choose a key chain that can not feel the weight, so that the wearer can walk more freely; Beautiful. Because it is exposed outside the body and the position of clothes, I designed the lovely panda head when designing this product.


First of all, I sketched out the appearance, which is the appearance of a panda, and then sewed and edited it according to the materials. Other designs are the same as those in the previous proposal.


img_3795 img_3794 img_3793

Final Project Images

img_3803 img_3800 img_3799 img_3798

Parts List

glue gun
Sewing box
circuit playground express


Circuit Diagram


Reflections & Next Steps 

During the production process, I encountered many difficulties, such as how to fix the circuit and how much time the flicker is appropriate and will not be regarded as disturbing. When designing the collision, I hesitated about whether to add sound and finally canceled it because I thought that adding sound might frighten the other party. It’s not an altruistic work. When I have the opportunity to continue the production later, I want to add a few more steps to add the interest of the whole work, such as adding LED lights to the ears to add a lovely atmosphere, or adding a little light to the eyes, or making the production more streamlined in terms of switches.

Resources & Related Works 

Stephen. (2018, June 6). Natural disaster sensor project with Circuit Playground Express – tutorial Australia. Core Electronics. Retrieved April 22, 2022, from https://core-electronics.com.au/guides/natural-disaster-sensor-project-adafruit-circuit-playground-express-tutorial-makecode/

Adafruit Circuit Playground Express – blocks / Javascript editor. Adafruit Circuit Playground Express – Blocks / Javascript editor. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2022, from https://makecode.adafruit.com/#editor

Open Project: Cardi Belt – Marcus Tang



As a forgettable person, I usually tend to lose day-to-day objects and spend quite some time trying to find them, such as my whole wallet left at my workplace I found out once I got home that my keys were attached to it. For the sake of losing things without realizing it. I would create a wearable that could give out a reminder when I lose the object. While not trying to reach for complicated mechanisms such as Bluetooth tracking (just like apple tags), the objective was to do a warning before really losing it.


Concept: (Idea and what are you creating)


The concept for the piece would be a cardholder with an alarm feature. Using a simple conductive fabric switch as the main trigger. After pulling out the card, the user has to put the card back within the given time (40 seconds), or else the alarm will go off (with a tiny light show!). 




To make the cardholder wearable, I put leather strips at the back of the cardholder so it could connect any wearables that have a strap to hold on to. With the minimalistic design, this prototype only carries out one mission which is to safely secure your card.



Circuit sewing was done after drawing the diagram on the felt fabric. the felt fabric was separated into two layers and the trigger mechanism is by removing the card and making those two conduct together hence activating the alarm countdown sequence. 




For the Materials, I mainly use felt fabric and faux leather for making the prototype. I used felt to be the canvas when sewing with the conductive threads and drawing the circuit diagram with a Sharpe. Then it was wrapped into a popsicle panel that I made to make the whole structure more steady and wouldn’t collapse. At last, The whole layer is sewed and wrapped in faux leather for a wallet aesthetic and a bit of insulation to the conductive layers. 




For the coding part, I made a one-time code that could be reset manually by using the reset button. First, the code will go for a 40 seconds countdown after the trigger is activated which I think is a reasonable time for you to type the 4-digit code and select the tip amount. If the card is not put back manually and reset by the user. The alarms will go off.




Process (Including ideation drawings, images of the work in progress, and videos of the different steps)

First, I made an idea sketch up on what I would like the prototype to look like.


After the basic sketch-up is done, I started to make hardback support by stacking up wooden popsicle together.


Then, I use felt fabric to be the base canvas for the circuit and draw the circuit layout with a sharpie. Hence connecting everything together.


Moreover, After the second layer of the felt fabric is done. I sewed all the felt fabric along with the CPX with non-conductive threads.


The design was reduced to one card slot due to the short circuit issue, that happened on the first felt trial, to make sure it works I stayed with one card slot instead.


Eventually, the prototype is wrapped in faux leather and sewed together.



Final Project Images (With the wearable being worn!)






Parts List

  1. Conductive threads
  2. Felt
  3. Scissors
  4. Faux leather
  5. Non-conductive thread
  6. CPX
  7. sewing kit
  8. Popsicle sticks
  9. Sharpie



Circuit Diagram:


(Initial idea with 3 card slots)

Reflections & Next Steps :

For the design structure, it could be a more compact and tight fit. Besides, A transparent insulation layer could be placed on top of the CPX as a protective layer. Moreover, Since the prototype carries out a simplistic mission, more card slots could be made maximizing the capability of the CPX can do. For the next steps, I would be working on more sewing techniques to get a better results outcome. Also, I would get custom reset switches instead of relying on the CPX. At last, the most important part is about portability, I would personally fit a 500mAh 3.7 v battery to the CPX so there will be no wires hanging around


Resources & Related Works (cited in APA)


Google. (n.d.). Jacquard by Google – Home. Google. Retrieved April 13, 2022, from https://atap.google.com/jacquard/#

(Simplistic design references and the compatibility with other wearables)


Ekster: Time-saving carry essentials. Ekster® | Trackable, Smart Wallet for Men. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2022, from https://ekster.com/ 

(Overall design references)

Huggable Sweater – Open Project: Prototype


Many can agree that hugging our loved ones is a universally comforting experiencing, but how many can say that they hug their loved ones regularly? World-renowned family therapist Virginia Satir famously once said that we need four hugs per day to survive, 8 hugs for maintenance, and 12 hugs for growth. For my project, I want to create a sweater that visually shows you how many hugs you’ve gotten from your loved ones and yourself. The sweater looks like a normal sweater, with the only visible difference being that each time you are hugged, a neo pixel from the CPX in your front pocket will light up. For every fourth hug, a little jingle also plays in celebrate. When you get your twelfth hug an animation plays on your CPX, along with a tune, before the counter resets to zero.


I chose to do this concept for this assignment because I hug my mom a lot and thought it would be cool if I could keep track of how many hugs I got on a regular basis. I also wanted to try experimenting with capacitive touch more and get more familiar with MakeCode. Having to figure out how to detect and keep track of how many the capacitive touch sensor went off sounded like a good challenge to try to make in MakeCode.

The 4 Points of Wearability


           One of the major things I kept in mind while working on this project was making this as comfortable as possible – which to me meant limiting the number of wires and other elements as much as possible. It’s why I choose to use capacitive touch as an input and the neo pixels and sound from the CPX as outputs. It greatly reduces the number of components on the body (as opposed to having say, 12 LEDs), making the sweater much lighter and less likely to hinder movement.

I placed the CPX in the front pocket of the sweater because it was the heaviest part of the project and I wanted it to be properly secured near the core of the body. It would also be much less distracting to the wearer as opposed to having it on the chest or shoulder.


           The sweater itself is relatively thick and soft so the electronic components can’t be easily damaged. The CPX was also purposely placed in the front pocket so it has a layer of protection and can avoid getting hit by accident from wild motion. The circuit is also only comprised of conductive thread which is adaptable and relatively durable. For the insultation I used a towel to cover the inside of the sweater, so the wearer doesn’t need to worry about the conductive thread touching their skin directly.


The interaction between person and the wearable is very simple and straightforward – if the person touches the back of the sweater, a neo pixel will light up and sometimes a jingle will play as well. The capacitive touch sensor is placed on the back specifically to encourage hugging, as another person would naturally be within reach and touch someone’s back while hugging. While the ideal interaction is hugging, the person themselves can still activate the interaction by touching their own back or having someone else just pat their back. The visual feedback may also not be as strong as it’s placed lower than the average eye level and is a bit diffused by the pocket covering over them. But it is still relatively effective since the colorful rainbow lights stand out from the rest of the regular grey sweater. The only other thing that hinders the usability of this wearable is that it requires to be plugged in because it doesn’t have a battery built into the wearable.


I wanted my wearable to look like an average piece of clothing most people would wear so I choose an old grey sweater and tried to make the electronic components as discreet as possible. The conductive thread also being grey particularly helps make it less noticeable on the sweater. The only major change I made in terms of aesthetics for the sweater was that I added a simple design on the back. This was because I needed to cover the back with conductive thread to detect touch but I also didn’t want to make random stitches. I decided to stitch a simple design on the back with conductive thread and different shades of blue regular thread to make it more visually interesting but also still subtle.

Process, Final Images, and Circuit Diagrams


For some reason I can’t upload my images onto the blog itself because they’re too big so I attached a google doc here for viewing:


Parts List

  • Circuit Playground Express
  • Conductive Thread (A LOT)
  • Regular Thread
  • Sweater
  • Battery Pack (Optional)
  • Extra Fabric

Reflection & Next Steps

Overall this project was interesting and fun to explore! I particularly liked the coding but I found the sewing to be pretty difficult since the capacitive touch sensor would stop working sometimes and I would have to back track. If I had more time I would’ve gotten more conductive thread to finish the design I had planned for the back and I would’ve incorporated the battery into the pocket so I wouldn’t have to connect the CPX to the laptop. If I were to make future iterations, I think exploring some of the ideas people came up with in class would be fun to do! I particularly liked the idea of neo pixels changing colors depending on how long you stay in a hug and having an app that keeps track of your total hugs, hug count goals, etc.


Barela, A. (2018, July 26). MakeCode. Adafruit Learning System. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://learn.adafruit.com/make-it-sense/makecode-6

Cirino, E. (2018, April 11). Why you should get (and give) more hugs. Healthline. Retrieved March 31, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/hugging-benefits#:~:text=Family%20therapist%20Virginia%20Satir%20once,are%20better%20than%20not%20enough.