LASER TAG GAUNTLET
My wearable is 1 of 2 pieces involved in my advanced wearables final. Originally I had planned to use a simple fabric band that wraps around the hand and then have the inputs only utilize the accelerometer but I was unable to make the interaction work effectively. Instead what I came up with is a glove that incorporates the band. Below you can see my initial idea then the version I ended up creating for this class.
The old version represents my initial prototype for my advanced wearables device.
This wearable is the laser gun component in my laser tag wearable set!
With this concept I am attempting to create a simple but effective glove alternative to a laser gun. Similar to one of my early wearables this year, I loved the ironman-like feeling that comes from using your hand as a laser tag gun. I wanted to create a wearable which had no entirely visible components (a small hole was made for the IR component on the CPX). Though I think I achieved a pretty clean look (especially when compared to past wearables) this is still very much a prototype piece.
4 Points of Wearability:
I would not say I excelled in making a comfortable wearable. My final product is more than comfortable enough especially because it is not intended to be worn over extended periods of times (or outside of game time). To make this wearable more comfortable I think a more form fitting glove as well as more advanced sewn circuitry would help greatly. The current prototype does not cause any discomfort to the user which is an A+ in comfortability in my books.
I am unsure of the durability of this wearable since I’ve only had it done for a few days but taking into consideration the components used and the structure of the circuit I believe this wearable to be decently durable! The components (other than the CPX) consist of 4 capacitive touch buttons that are all connected to the cpx using a one thread per button! The circuit is very simple and compact which leads me to believe this wearable has good durability and can withstand many uses.
This wearable uses capacitive buttons, lights, and sound in its inputs and outputs, this means that the interaction between the user and the device is both simple/organic as well as effective. Each capacitive button is in an easy to reach area and each input/action of the device has sounds that correspond with them ie. laser gun shooting = pew pew pew, reloading = powering up sound, along with the sound the light ring built into the CPX reacts to each action as well. One thing that falls short in the usability category is the fact that the current prototype needs to be plugged in to be used, obviously this completely restricts its purpose of being used for laser tag but this is a proof of concept. The reason it needs to be connected at all times is due to not being able to buy lipo batteries on their own.
I think this wearable falls short when it comes to the aesthetics. Unfortunately I did not have a lot of money to work with so I had to use anything immediately accessible to me, this included a winter glove (because i lack any other kind of glove) and some fabric from an old crewneck. Though it definitely isn’t my worst looking wearable it is not necessarily pleasing to look at and looks very much so like a prototype. As I mentioned before, if this product continued its development I think using a form fitting glove as well as sewing a more advanced circuit into it would create a more pleasing device aesthetically.
Before changing my wearable to the laser gauntlet I had initially wanted to create LED jeans. Unfortunately I had struggled with the sewing of the circuit and realized it would be too difficult to create something that looks good and works well using the concept of LED jeans. Here are some of the images of that circuit.
The top two images show the CPX sewed into a pocket (this was to hide the components). Sewing the CPX into a pocket seemed like a good idea initially but was extremely difficult to work with for obvious reasons. The image on the left shows the inside of the pocket and the image on the right shows the outside.
The bottom two images show both the full circuit as well as the LEDs themselves. As you can see I did not get very far before realizing it was a horrible idea. I wanted to have capacitive buttons along the jean pockets so that the user was able to change the lighting to what they wanted in the moment.
Unfortunately I don’t have any process photos of me creating the laser tag gauntlet, I always forget to take process pictures when im in the zone creating a wearable.
Conductive Thread 3-ply
Circuit Playground Express
Reflections and Next Steps:
Taking both intro to wearables and advanced wearables was very difficult, having to come up with a new wearable pretty much every week was tasking but I pulled through and got to the end! Having made a wide range of devices I am proud to say that I have greatly improved since my first wearable. My concepting, circuit construction, code creation, and most importantly sewing has improved beyond what I thought I could achieve. Though this wearable is not very complex I am very happy with the overall construction purpose of this device!
Not many resources or related works were used in the process of creating this wearable.
One resource I used though was adafruits “Infrared Receive and Transmit with Circuit Playground Express” article. This resource was used as a general starting point for exploring the CPXs IR capabilities.
Rembor, K. (2018, July 24). Infrared receive and transmit with Circuit Playground Express. Adafruit Learning System. Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://learn.adafruit.com/infrared-ir-receive-transmit-circuit-playground-express-circuit-python