Autonomous Social Precautions

We humans weren’t ready for the pandemic, but on optimistic notes, autonomous technologies like robotics and wearable technology can help us in a ‘preferable future’ to combat situations like this. We need automation more than ever before. Automation in our warehouses, agriculture, production and healthcare can greatly facilitate us to survive in a pandemic where individual isolation is needed. Automation and robotics at the larger perspective will definitely equip us to fight the pandemic, but automation at the micro (individual) level in the form of wearables can help us stop the infection while continuing the social interaction. Research and development in medicine is an absolute necessity for human survival, but defensive wearable has a greater need as well.

Defensive Helmet

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Defensive wearables can help with social distancing, but it can also increase our social interaction while keeping us safe. Keeping this idea of personal protection and social interaction I have prototyped a helmet that can shield individuals from each other during social interactions. The helmet contains a distance sensor and a transparent plastic shield that can slide in Infront of the face when a person comes closer to the wearer. The idea was to shield individual space in a social gathering and unshielded during solitary. The gesture of sliding a defensive shield during social interaction can seem discourteous and antagonizing to some individuals. To make this gesture amiable and convivial I have mounted a string light around the shield. While testing, the helmet wearer and approaching individuals both liked the addition of string light, in their views the string light has made it sociable and astatically pleasing.

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Thoughts on code

The repurposing and reuse of circuit layout and motion gesture from my previous project was relieving but it has increased my curiosity about repurposing electrics. The circuit connections in the helmet project are exactly the same which I have used in my previous hugging T-Shirts Project. It was not intentional. I realized it during production. I have only replaced the red led light used in the previous settings with string light. The code is slightly different from the previous project but works on the same principles of proximity and gestures. This coincidence has made me more curious about how customization and minor alteration in code can produce an entirely different project.

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Code Link

https://github.com/anasraza-zz/PreventionHelmet/blob/master/covid.ino

Process

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Related Work

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Control Suit
https://www.rtlasersafety.com/radiation-suits/covid-infection-control-suit/

Hazmat suit
https://web.archive.org/web/20091109032015/http://www.dcfp.navy.mil/library/dcnews/PPETip001.htm

Robots Welcome to Take Over, as Pandemic Accelerates Automation
https://cacm.acm.org/news/244288-robots-welcome-to-take-over-as-pandemic-accelerates-automation/fulltext

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Chingo Pestañas (continued)

Concept

This is the final iteration of a concept that started with the Expressive Wearables project: A decorative fedora with fibre optics incorporated into the design.  The microcontroller is sewn in to the upper lid of the hat interior.  I used glow-in-the-dark on the hat exterior, in a design that is inspired from the skeletal imagery from Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican holiday.  The fibre optic strands protrude from around the eye-sockets in large bushels, resulting in a vibrant, colourful effect.  The microcontroller is battery-powered so the hat is portable.

 

Story

My goal was to create something decoratively artistic, that made use of a microcontroller without drawing attention to its use.  I also wanted the technical component to have artistic flare while adding to the overall appearance rather than dominating it.  Mostly though, I wanted to work with fibre optics, as I’ve come across some very interesting work that’s intended more for display than wearables, and thought this might serve as an opportunity to familiarize myself with their behaviour.

 

Intended to be worn by…

Initially I’d aspired to create an accessory for a musician.  I had plans to program the microcontroller to respond to high / low pitch sounds with corresponding light effects.  A musician had asked me once if I could design a portable light show for their set.  I pictured this idea as a funny play on that concept: a light show on the head of the musician that draws attention to the focal point (the face) and adding flare, while not distracting away from the performance.

 

Where it would be used

I pictured it being used in performances where portability is key: either in a pub or maybe busking on a busy street at night.  Once it was well-underway it seemed to beg to be taken to Burning Man or some sort of music festival.  It doesn’t look like any of that will be possible any time soon though, so it will likely serve to amp up my Zoom game on Saturday night video hangs.

 

How it works

The microcontroller – a Circuit Fruit Playground Express (CX) – is nested in a a 3D-printed incasing with a removal lid.  The lid has 12 holes; ten for the fibre optic bundles to access the neopixels, and two smaller holes for accessing the A and B buttons on the CX.  Each bundle of fibres has 12 strands that feed into plastic tubing (the kind used for insulating soldered wires with a heat gun).  Trouble-shooting the assembly process for these bundles was no small feat.  Because each exterior fibre tip was needed to emit light, it’s opposing end needed to contact the surface of a neopixel.  To achieve this, the fibre bundles had to be secured together in a way that prevented them from sliding around, so that the ends could line up evenly.

I used tiny elastics to bind the bundles closely together, fed them through a tube, letting their ends hang out the unevenly on the neopixel side of the tube.  Once all ten bundles were fed through the tubes, I connected each tube to a hole in the lid of the encasing box.  This part was a big improvement from the previous iterations of the design.  I had overthought the design process of these tubes, thinking I would be able to do very precise programming with the lights.  that might still be possible, but in hindsight my mistake was planning out their code schematic intact with number codes for each of the bundles / neopixels / holes in the hat.  Next time, I’ll know to focus a lot more on what makes sense as I go along in the assembly, instead of trying to stick to a map (that ended in near-tears).  After starting over from scratch, I let the bundles dictate which hole made most sense.

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The fiber bundles finally well-secured

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The fibers before getting adjusted / trimmed.

Once all the tubed bundles were fed into the encasement, I gently maneuvered the structure to where it needed to fit in the hat.  It involved a lot of fiddling with the slack of the bundles – so word to the wise, if you’re trying a project similar to this, make sure you’ve been very generous with the lengths of your fiber strands.  Once it was finally fitted appropriately, I pushed the elastics down to meet with the top of the tubing, then used a glue gun to ‘weld’ the tube to the elastic, thereby fixing the length.

Finally, I removed the tubing from the encasement, cut the fibers to be evenly flush with the mouth of the tube, then, pushing the mouth a slight bit past the ends of the fiber, added a bit of hot glue to fasted the ends together.  The other ends of the fibers were fed through the felt of the hat.  I used a pin-needle/knife process for this; the pin to pierce the location where I wanted the fiber to come through, then on the interior side of the hat, I used the knife to create a bigger opening where the needle came through, then slid finagled the fiber through that hole.  This was an excessively nerve-wracking and time-consuming process to repeat 120 times (not including the first failed attempt of the same number, which were all eventually removed, as well as the few dozen that slid out by accident).  Experience paid off in all other areas except this – I’m sure there’s a more efficient way of doing it, like 3-D printing a tube just large enough to fit the fiber, with a very sharp tip that could pierce the felt.  This was my big takeaway actually.  If I could figure out a solution for faster needlepoint with the fiber, then I’ve otherwise got the felt/fiber optic process down to a science.

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Context

Because I have previously discussed this project as it relates to wearable concepts of a similar context / variety, I’d like to expand beyond the topic of wearables to fibre optic artwork in the broader sense.  The intrigue about fiber optics is that in order to take effect, they need to be working in large masses.  This elicits an enticing challenge from the outset.  An idea may start with an artistic vision, but every step following requires a lot of strategy, patience and testing.  I think the real challenge is that the time between the original idea and the final product is a very long stretch, without a lot of wiggle room for error along the way.  But the quest for that result is addictive, and that determination will surprise you in how well it can suppress the anxiety of working with so many moving parts.

Contextually the process is somewhat reminiscent to pointillism, a genre of painting made famous by Georges Seurat in late 19th century France.  The style itself was inspired by colour theories in terms of their optical effects and perception found in the scientific research of Michel Eugène Chevreul and Ogden Rood.  Seurat applied miniature dots of brush stroke colours closely together so that from a slight distance, the human eye perceived the differing colours as a single shade or hue.  Seurat hoped that the technique would succeed in making the colours more brilliant and with more power than brushstrokes.  
It was on these terms that working with fiber optics fascinated me.  Though they have been utilized in a variety of ways, I favour the styles that use the end-emitting light to convey brilliant hues when displayed closely together, while also executing a level of control over the display.  Although fibre optics can look brilliant when the light effect is haphazard, the strategic placement of each light is the human quality I appreciate most.  I love the idea of the time invested in plotting out several hundred individual lights to achieve the effect of a greater whole.

Oil on canvas by Georges Seurat, Art Institute of Chicago

Oil on canvas by Georges Seurat, Art Institute of Chicago

 

One such fiber optic artist is Bruce Munro.  For Munro, a lighting technician by trade (and retired by now), fiber optics are his paint and sprawling fields of night are his canvas.  Initially inspired by nights spent camping out in the Australian desert in his youth, Munro was struck by the contrast of the green grass to the surrounding red desert, or how the desert would burst into colourful flowers when it rained.  The idea of replicating the effect with fibre optics sat with him for years, till finally at the Eden Project in Cornwall, he finally brought it ‘to light’.  Set on a sloping grass roof of clover, the Field of Light is comprised of 6,000 acrylic stems fed with fibre optics and sealed by glass spheres.  The area spans 60 x 20 meters, and the 24,000 meters of fibre optic cable are powered by 11 external projectors.

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Bruce Munro, Fiber Optics, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Bruce Munro, Fiber Optics, Cornwall, United Kingdom

 

When I came across the work of Malin Bobek Tadaa, a Swedish textile artist who creates fibre optic installations on a more intimate scale, I was immediately reminded of scuba diving.  I did some live-sketching of coral reefs and struggled for ages to figure out a format I could convert them to that would do justice to the luminous, ominous presence of aquatic life.  Tadaa seems to have risen to a similar challenge and succeeded in conveying the soft brilliant patterns weaving through the darkness by way of fibre optics.  Her suspended tapestries and bulbous sculptures reactive to human touch, in her show Tactile Refuge.  In this interactive installation, Tadaa invites viewers to place their hands on the sculptures, and as they do, the colour of the interwoven lights within change in reaction.  The more hands that are in contact with the work at once, the greater the strength of the light reaction, evoking changes on the atmosphere of the space.

Tadaa had aspired to bring people together while encouraging awe and wonder from the individual.  It’s great to now have the ability to really see the work of an artist, all that must have gone into the production to achieve the effect.  From a technical standpoint, I can see how the fabric pockets for each individual strand could have only been the brainchild of an experienced textile artist.  I would like to attempt something similar – narrow slates of fabric – with the help of a sewing machine.  The assembly is so engineered and meticulous – all in the name of an effect that flows organically while secured to withstand the hands of many.

Malin Bobeck Tadaa optical fibers and LEDs Stockholm, Sweden, 2017

Malin Bobeck Tadaa
optical fibers and LEDs
Stockholm, Sweden, 2017

Parts

  • Circuit Playground Express (Adafruit)
  • Chinly (0.75 mm) PMMA Plastic end Glow Fiber Optic Cable
  • Glow-in-the-dark paint
  • Adhesive Heat Shrink Tubing (Moveland)
  • Fedora (Found at the Salvation Army)
  • Thread (for attaching the circuit)
  • Battery (type)
  • Circuit Playground Sewable “Light Pipe Case” (by Firepixie, on Thingiverse)
  • Alterations of the Light Pipe Case.

 

Challenges

By far the largest challenge was securing the fibres in a way that was flexible enough move the bundles around as individual components, as well as the entire contraption inside the hat.  These adjustments were essential, and were responsible for breaking my first version of this hat because the fibre bundles had been too fragile.  It took ages to finally get to a solution that worked, but once I got there, I felt hugely accomplished, like I’d created a prototype of sorts.

 

Where to go from here

I know now that I could reuse this system to create some pretty awesome looking fibre optic art, while having total control over the structure and code as well.  I would like to try reworking this system on a surface rather than as a wearable.  I like the idea of recreating a mini-version of Munro’s field, with a few display modes that perhaps alter according to the tempo of music.  It sounds challenging but at least considerably less so that it did before this project.

 

Under different circumstances, I would have…

I had planned to continue with this fiber optic project because I’d learned what to improve in the first version.  The key feature was the revamping of the 3D-printed encasing.  I had sourced the design online (reference in previous documentation) and had it printed directly from the model provided.  I had intended to add my own touches to the model, namely converting the holes in the lid into cones that extruded outwards for stronger support, and cylindrical tubing that extended on the underside of the lid, to better direct the fibres to the neopixels.  It might have saved a lot of time and trouble.

Had I saved time there, I would have made use of the extra hours by investing more into the light code – which I do regret not having at this point.  Arduino seems to be completely crashed on my laptop so I was left with make code and there weren’t a lot of options available there.  It would have been great to be able to bring my laptop in to have Kate or another experienced Arduino person take a look at it.

 

Bibliography

Amory, Dita. “Goerges Seurat (1859 – 1891) and Neo-Impressionism”.  October, 2004. Heilbrunn, Timeline of Art History, The Met.  https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/seni/hd_seni.htm

 

“Pointillism: 7 Things You Need to Know”.  Sotheby’s.  21 May, 2018, https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/pointillism-7-things-you-need-to-know

 

Chino, Mike. “Artist Bruce Munro Creates Brilliant Fiber Optic Fields of Light”.  Aug., 2013, Inhabitat, inhabitat.com/field-of-light-by-bruce-monroe/

 

“Tactile Refuge”, Colour Emotions – Broken Illlutions at Hallwyl Museum.  Feb., 2017, Stockholm, Sweden, malinbobeck.se/optical-fiber-textile/tactile-refuge/

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Tell Your Own Tale

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Project Description:

What is the idea?

‘Tell Your Own Tale’ consists of an interactive puppet to craft stories from multiple endings. The name of the puppet is ‘RoopKatha’ meaning ‘fairytale’ in Bengali. It has tactile buttons on the surface from 1 to 8, which will allow the user to explore different outcomes from one story. 

What is the story behind it?

‘Tell your own Tale’, uses the narrative methodology of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style. Here, the viewers or readers can choose from alternative decisions posing as the protagonist. There are 2 options of the main character i.e. Jude for males & Julie for females.  Each decision will lead to a different path for the characters and create new subplots. The chronicles resemble the vocabulary and metaphors of classic fairy tales, especially bedtime stories consisting of magic, fantasy, witchcraft, palaces and royal families. This indicates using syntaxes like – ‘Once upon a time’, or Happily-ever-after’ etc.

Who is this intended for and where is it meant to be used?

It is intended for 4 – 8 years old children, who enjoy fairy and fantasy fiction. But the puppet needs to be monitored by their parents. It could be an online, engaging, enjoyable and an alternative to the traditional bedtime storybooks.

 How does it work?

The wearable here would be a hand-puppet as they are exclusively used for storytelling to children. Numbered-Tactile buttons are pasted on its body to provide options for the kids. When the buttons are pressed, illustrated pages appear on the screen. The kid, as the main protagonist will choose the numbers which will vary the finale. Usage of a laptop is essential for the screen displays.

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Project Context: 

What are some related works? Are there any projects that are similar or have acted as inspiration?

During my childhood years, I enjoyed reading ‘Goosebumps’ storybooks which were structured in the form of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure narrative styles. At the end of each page, readers were given the option to decide how to travel through the stories by choosing which page/storyline to proceed. While some end resulted in tragedies others would lead to the triumph of good over evil. 

I created my own bedtime story inspired by Fairy Tales that were narrated to me before bedtime. However, every time before my mother could complete the story I would have felt asleep. So I felt if the narrative were more engaging and interacting for the kids they might stay awake and hear the completion of the stories.

 

Prototyping

I created fabric buttons numbered from one to eight which gave the kids multiple options for the kids to choose their different storylines. They were connected to the capacitive sensors via conductive thread. Each button would trigger an illustration to appear on the computer screen. Serial communication was used to transmit the images from Arduino to processing. Conductive fabrics were provided below the felt fabric. Blue colour is used for eye soothing effect.

Executions:

I referred to the illustrations styles of Tara Krebs,  Anastasia Suvorova and Alena Tkach. I observed digital paintings found in Behance and Freepik.com platforms to create my visual language for the virtual bedtime story. These illustrations and the story concepts are original and self-created.

Illustrations:

Instructions – Hello reader! I am going to fabricate your own fairy-tale. We shall process from the far far away ‘LalKomol’ (meaning Red lotus in Bengali) Kingdom. It is a gloomy province ruled by a sad royal couple. You are on a quest to rescue their only child from the clutches of Witch ‘BuriAima’(meaning Old Dame in Bengali). Press the numbers to decide directions. Press (2) to be the brave Jade or press (3) to be the valiant Julie.

(2) - Wonderful! Now as Jude, you have begun your journey by flying the royal unicorn towards the ‘Cloud Castle’. Upon arrival at its gigantic gates, you see an old lady. To talk to the old lady press (6) or to continue to enter the castle, press (4).

(2) – Wonderful! Now as Jude, you have begun your journey by flying the royal unicorn towards the ‘Cloud Castle’. Upon arrival at its gigantic gates, you see an old lady. To talk to the old lady press (6) or to continue to enter the castle, press (4).

(3) - Wonderful! Now as Julie, you have begun your journey towards the forbidden forest to fight the diabolic witch. You see two roads diverged into the woods, one full of thorns, lava lakes and a starving dragon. The second road seems pleasant, full of greenery and reminds you of holidays (without the homeworks). Press (4) to walk on the green terrain and relax. Press (1) to fight ordeals in the 1st road.

(3) – Wonderful! Now as Julie, you have begun your journey towards the forbidden forest to fight the diabolic witch. You see two roads diverged into the woods, one full of thorns, lava lakes and a starving dragon. The second road seems pleasant, full of greenery and reminds you of a holiday (without the homework). Press (4) to walk on the green terrain and relax. Press (1) to fight ordeals in the 1st road.

(4) - The path seemed fine (superficially) but alas had a black hole in the middle where you got trapped into the depths of nowhere and died. Try a different road! The End

(4) – The path seemed fine (superficially) but alas had a black hole in the middle where you got trapped into the depths of nowhere and died. Try a different road! The End

(6) - The old woman reveals her disguise and turns to be the witch. She kills you instantly and sends you to the graveyard. To restart the game as Julie, press (3).

(6) – The old woman reveals her disguise and turns to be the witch. She kills you instantly and sends you to the graveyard. To restart the game as Julie, press (3).

(1) - Gearing up for the ultimate battle of your life, you jumped towards the ferocious dragon realising it was just an illusion made by the witch. Escaping forward, you arrive towards the graveyard and find the prince charming tied and tortured. To fight the witch, Press (6) or to offer her a chance to rectify, press (7).

(1) – Gearing up for the ultimate battle of your life, you jumped towards the ferocious dragon realising it was just an illusion made by the witch. Escaping forward, you arrive towards the graveyard and find the prince charming tied and tortured. To fight the witch, Press (6) or to offer her a chance to rectify, press (7).

(8) - Are you kidding me? She knows how to hypnotise and vicious spells. Using her mystical abilities, she traps you inside a crystal ball for eternity. Try another path! The End

(8) – Are you kidding me? She knows how to hypnotise and vicious spells. Using her mystical abilities, she traps you inside a crystal ball for eternity. Try another path! The End

(7) - You chose right! The witch needed help. She gets a change of heart and hands over the prince to you peacefully. You return him to the royal couple. And the witch also reflects upon her deeds. Later that year you both get married and rule the kingdom happily ever after.

(7) – You chose right! The witch needed help. She gets a change of heart and hands over the prince to you peacefully. You return him to the royal couple. And the witch also reflects upon her deeds. Later that year you both get married and rule the kingdom happily ever after.

Parts List:

  1. Hand Puppet & Fabric Decorations- Dollarama
  2. Conductive Fabric – Prof. Kate Hartman
  3. Conductive Threads – Creatron Inc
  4. Felt Fabric – Dollarama
  5. Adafruit Playground Circuit & USB Cord – Creatron Inc

Circuit Diagram 

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Narrative Structure

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Link to code on GitHub

https://github.com/Rittika-Basu/Tell-Your-Own-Tale

Video

Wearability Assessment 

To decide which wearability criterias I should focus on, the following journal was referred.

Motti, Vivian Genaro, and Kelly Caine. “Human Factors Considerations In The Design Of Wearable Devices”. Proceedings Of The Human Factors And Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, vol 58, no. 1, 2014, pp. 1820-1824. SAGE Publications, doi:10.1177/1541931214581381. Accessed 4 Mar 2020.

I choose factors of ergonomics, user-friendliness, simplicity and responsiveness. In terms of ergonomics the hand puppet can be used by the parent. The buttons are to be placed at a reachable distance for the user (child). I used soft fabric and a simple interface for user-friendliness and simplicity. The engagement is straightforward and the materials are affordable. The responsiveness criteria is taken into consideration by integrating the interactive and responsive mechanism into the design, I.e.(Pressing the numbered buttons will trigger appearances of the illustrations). 

Challenges & Successes:

Initially, I was creating the code via Microsoft MakeCode which has an excellent library named ‘Keyboard’ which turns your Playground Circuit to a computer’s keyboard. It can type any characters and sentences with an effect of typewriting. But sadly this library could not have been implemented with Arduino and Processing. Since I was given feedback to create illustrations for storytelling. Thus, sending images via the capacitive sensors posed a new challenge to me. I looked into online resources for the coding part. Finally, I used Serial Communication to send one image, after the successful transmission of one illustration, I implemented the same coding for the remaining 7 illustrations.

Next Steps: 

I would have used a better camera for documentation (could have been borrowed from the AV Loans). I could have optimised my code for a better appeal if I had more help. Sometimes, constructive feedback from colleagues helps a design to evolve. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, social isolation lowered my energy and socialising with colleagues. I might have used Copper tapes instead of conductive wires as I find them unreliable sometimes. 

References:

  1. Motti, Vivian Genaro, and Kelly Caine. “Human Factors Considerations In The Design Of Wearable Devices”. Proceedings Of The Human Factors And Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, vol 58, no. 1, 2014, pp. 1820-1824. SAGE Publications, doi:10.1177/1541931214581381. Accessed 4 Mar 2020.

We read this paper to assess the Human factors considerations in our designs. I choose four wearability criterias for my design. These are the principles of ergonomics, user-friendliness, simplicity and responsiveness.

2. Netflix, Inc. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. 2020, https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/80988062. Accessed 8 Mar 2020.

3. Stine, Robert Lawrence. Give Yourself Goosebumps Series, Escape From The Carnival Of Horrors. 1st ed., Scholastic Inc., 1995. 

Ref. 2-3 are examples of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Narratives which gave me an idea of how my story should be structured.

4. Kapur, Arnav. “Project Overview ‹ Alterego – MIT Media Lab”. MIT Media Lab, 2018, https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/alterego/overview/. Accessed 16 Jan 2020

A brilliant project from the MIT Media Lab, linking the peripheral neural system with artificial intelligence allowing humans to communicate in non-verbal speech with technology. The user can express their thoughts without actually saying anything and getting their auditory perceptions disrupted. I wanted my user (kids) to choose the decisions via buttons and not by saying what kind of endings they expect.

5. Bandodkar, Priya. “E-Yoga Mat”. Advanced Wearable Electronics – Winter 2020, 2020, http://blog.ocad.ca/wordpress/digf3010-fw201903-01/2020/01/e-yoga-mat/. Accessed 1 Apr 2020. This is one of the projects of my classmates whose code I studied.

6. “Freepik | Discover The Best Free Graphic Resources About Children Illustrations, 38,713 Results”. Freepik, 2020, https://www.freepik.com/search?dates=any&format=search&page=1&query=children%20illustrations&sort=popular. Accessed 1 Apr 2020.

7. Krebs, Tara. “Artwork — The Art Of Tara Krebs”. The Art Of Tara Krebs, 2020, http://www.tarakrebs.com/artwork. Accessed 19 Mar 2020.

8. Suvorova, Anastasia. “Anastasia Suvorova”. Behance.Net, 2020, https://www.behance.net/ChaosEgo. Accessed 15 Mar 2020.

9. Tkach, Alena. “Alena Tkach”. Behance.Net, 2020, https://www.behance.net/alena_tkach. Accessed 15 Mar 2020.

Ref. 6-9: These are the online platforms I choose to study the children’s illustrations for my storybook creation process.

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Bloom

Bloom

The concept of bloom is a surreal artificial ecosystem extending the human form. The wearable piece will contain motors which drive the bloom of mechanical flora. The synthetic flowers will grow out of material, and retract to completely disappear. An array of micro servos will be used to drive flowers in and out of sight through a material.  This material would be either fabric, silicone, or both dependding on what worked best in the production process. Experiments in environmental sensors (light, moisture, capacitive) and networked ecological data will be considered in the development.

Bloom concept art, P5.js.

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The mechanics of Bloom has been a concept that I’ve been meaning to explore since 2017. While at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, in a collection of over 1 million objects of arts, crafts, and history, the piece that stuck with me was a kinetic light installation called Shylight.

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Shylight features fixtures that down and retract with beautiful choreography. The retraction of the arms of Shylight is caused by a ring like Bloom, although gravity and clever design are the driving forces of Shylight’s blooming effect. The problem I wanted to explore was creating a similar effect with a purely mechanical process rather than gravity.

Another piece I thought about while building Bloom is Daniel Rozin’s “PomPom Mirror. This piece is a good reference for the supernatural effect I would like to achieve in the final piece.

For later iterations “Flowing Water Standing Time” by Ying Gao demonstrates some interactive and generative potential of an aesthetic wearable. The artist describes it as a robotic clothing reacting to the chromatic spectrum, where garments use colour and light sensors, and small cameras linked to a raspberry PI. This data then activates a series of actuators and magnets interlaced with silicone to cause the fabrics move. 

While I think this has lots of potential for a ball/gala style dress, another idea that I’ve been thinking over is removing the garment and creating prosthetic body extensions. The motivation for this idea revolves around a concept of having nature grow from one’s body. Olivier de Sagazan’s work with clay around his body would be a good reference for creating surreal extrusions of the human form.

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With the onset of Covid-19 the final stage of mass printing the linear actuators was put on hold.

Parts: 16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Driver – I2C interface – PCA9685, 3d printed components, fabric, silicone.

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The code would be based on developing an array of defined patterns and masks to loop through.

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Original Prototype:

Flex Version:

First experiment with bloom design concept and an open source actuator file.

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Redesigning the actuator for miter gears and a smaller actuator. The design needs to be as compact as possible to be functionally wearable.

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Reduction in size, going back to original angle of motion transfer. This original alignment reduces back throw of the rack.  The twigs bend as the size reduction reduces their flexibility so this would need to be rethought.

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Switching to a flexible filament for the twigs. The curves create a natural movement throughout the bloom. The flexible filament was so impressive in terms of flexibility while keeping form that I would like to try constructing the brace and servo mount with it. I assume I would need to keep the rack and gear relatively rigid though.

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Lid and mounting brace finalized. The mounting brace will potentially use screws to secure onto a stiff fabric/material.

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First prototype (left) and the final pre-production version (right).

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Gao, Ying. Flowing Water, Standing Time. 2019

http://yinggao.ca/interactifs/flowing-water-standing-time/

Rozin, Daniel. PomPom Mirrror. Bitforms Gallery.

https://bitforms.art/archives/rozin/pompom-mirror

Olivier de Sagazan.

http://olivierdesagazan.com/

 

 

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Voice in Nature

Wearable 3 Documentation
The Documentation
Project Title:
Voice in nature

Description
Voice in nature is an expressive wearable that demonstrates the connectivity between humans and nature. While white symbolizes purity and blue resembles the color of sky and sea, the lights embedded in the flowers on the dress will react to the voice of the wearer when they talk by using the sound volume as an input and light behaviors as output. Intending to unite humans and nature as a whole, Voice in nature is more than just an aesthetic piece and sends a poetic message that humans not only play an important part by coexisting with nature, but also they can make a difference and save nature by raising their voice to speak up for the environment.
With 2020 being a disastrous year, many people are stuck at home under the quarantine situation. More than anything and anytime, people desire to go out and enjoy sunshine, flowers blooming, birds singing and breaths of fresh air with spring approaching. It is only when we are separated from nature for a long time that we start to appreciate the value of it. Voice in nature tries to capture glimpses of beauty in nature and awaken the appreciation for beauty in anyone who has forgotten our interdependent relationship with it. It also functions as a reminder for me during this difficult time to stay hopeful and positive that spring, a season which symbolizes life and hope, is around the corner.

Project Context

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Iris van Herpen and Liliya Hudyakova are two fashion designers that came up during my research of nature inspired fashion pieces. Their works are absolutely beautiful and inspiring. While Iris van Herpen seems to play with the shape of her fashion design pieces more, Liliya Hudyakova seems to play with the prints of her design pieces more. The works of both fashion designers are all very stunning and have really enabled me to develop a strong appreciation for nature through their works beyond what words can describe. If one day nature will no longer be the way it is now, perhaps this is a special and meaningful way for it to be recorded and remembered. It was after seeing their work that I decided to create nature inspired wearable designs because wearing nature on the body is as close as we can get to it. Especially now when people have more difficulty getting close to nature during the pandemic, I think creating nature inspired clothing design holds special meaning. I feel unsettled knowing that spring is coming but I can not go out like usual. It serves as a reminder of not only how precious nature can be to us, especially to me, but also a reminder of hope that spring is around the corner.

Wearable forest (Kobayashi et al. 1) is a wearable by 3 Japanese artists Hiroki Kobayashi, Ryoko Ueoka, Michitaka Hirose that brings humans and nature together. By embedding speakers and a GPU on the dress, the wearable is able to have bio-acoustical interaction with the subtropical forest of the southern Ryukyu Islands of Japan by receiving real time sound data from the forest. Inspired by the Zen Buddist philosophy, Wearable forest intends to bring inner peace to wearers who live in fast paced cities wherever they are by carrying the sound of forest around through this wearable piece. Quite similar to the idea of my wearable piece, Wearable forest emphasizes on the relationship between humans and nature as a whole and invites people to ponder on this relationship by wearing nature on the body. Although the lights on Wearable forest do not have a direct relationship with nature, it added to the aesthetics. There are a lot of similarities between my project and Wearable forest in terms of conceptual idea, utilizing sound and lights. Although on top of this, I will be using fiber optics, which has created a unique look in my opinion in my project.
I came across this video on YouTube of a fiber optic table. I really like the starlike effect of the table created through fiber optics. I thought perhaps I could do something similar to this table with my wearable project by having 1 light source and connecting long fiber optics to this light source. In this table project, all the fiber optics are concealed in a protection box. With wearables however, a new solution to secure and place fiber optics is needed as hard and stiff constructions such as boxes are usually unfavorable on wearables. Also, humans, unlike a table which is static, tend to move around a lot which can bend and therefore destroy fiber optics by accident. These are all things which should be taken into consideration. These are also the problems left unsolved in my second assignment. As this project is my attempt to refine my second project, I need to seek better solutions this time.

I saw quite a few fiber optic wearable projects on the internet to find inspiration of how they embed fiber optics into their design, it turns out half of them weaved the fiber optics in the fabric directly, and half of them just left them hanging on the surface without any attempt to stabilize them (a lot of the times that’s also the effect the creators wanted when the fiber optics swing as the wearers moved and sometimes danced.). I need to come up with my own solution to placing and securing the fiber optics.

After digging around on YouTube for a while, I found that glue guns are actually a really good way for a number of things when it comes to dealing with fiber optics. Not only can it diffuse the light, as shown in the video, but also, it can secure fiber optics in position on fabric. I used it to glue the ends of a bundle of fiber optics together because I realized without the help of glue, the angle of fiber optics in relation to lights need to be quite precious. The fibers will lose light even if the ends miss the lights by a few millimeters. The glued end gives more surface for the light to be in contact with. This is also what led me to figure out to use an iron to melt and curl the fiber optics as I realized fiber optics tend to curl after heated, however, it doesn’t lose its ability to transmit light after being heated and curled, so I used this method to manipulate fiber optics to get more organic feel.

Also to reduce the tendency to bend the fiber optics, I think I should use a few light sources instead of only one so the fiber optics don’t need to be too long. The lights on the dress will be something like the video below. And I will place a bundle of short curled fiber optics at top to resemble flower stamens. The result I thought would look better than just the lights alone.

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parts list
Fiber optics
Sewable LEDs
Conductive fabric
Conductive thread
Adafruit CPX

circuit diagram or schematics

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link to code on GitHub
https://github.com/jessiez0810/wearable3

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Wearability Assessment
According to the article Fiber optic sensors for wearable applications (Rantala et al. 88) that a few criteria should be taken into consideration including form (needs to follow the form of the body), size (needs to be small), weight (needs to be light), displacement (needs to be placed in areas with less movement), interaction (needs to be intuitive), electronics (needs to be simple). Among these criteria, I personally feel that the displacement is the most important and relevant in my project. Because the nature of fiber optics are not very flexible, therefore, it would be better to place them on areas of the body that have less bending movement. With torso being one of the largest areas on the body and more stable compared to areas such as limbs or joints, I think it adds to the wearability of this piece. Other criteria such as the form, size and weight I think are less relevant as fiber optics as decorative pieces sewn to the dress rather than weaving fiber optics into the dress as part of the fabric. I think the interaction and electronics are relatively intuitive and simple.
Moreover, it is suggested in the article that “Special construction will be needed to ensure controlled movement of the fibers and functionality of the sensor.”, this is taken care of with glue and stitches. The article also mentioned the importance of the alignment of the end points of fiber optics for light to be transmitted. I also solved this problem by gluing the ends together. It turns out the glue is very important in handling fiber optics.

Photos

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Videos

Any supporting sketches, diagrams, models, renderings

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Challenges & Successes: What challenges did you overcome?
Pulse sensor and external LEDs
One of the biggest challenges with my initial idea was that I was unable to write code for external LEDs in Arduino IDE after initializing the Circuit playground library in Arduino IDE. The LED blinking code and pulse sensing code work separately, however, when I put them together it stops working. I eliminated the problem on the code line by line and realized the problem started when I initiated the Circuit playground library, which led me to think there might be a conflict between the Arduino standard library and Circuit playground library. I spent days on trying to figure out this problem and tried 3 different programs – Arduino IDE, Makecode and Circuit Python and still couldn’t figure it out.
I still haven’t been able to find anything online about this topic since assignment 2 either, so I decided to compromise. In assignment 2, I compromised the external LEDs in order to use the pulse (light) sensor on the board, however, I realized the fiber optics are quite difficult to secure in position when they are long but they had to be long to reach the neopixels on the board. This time, I decided to compromise the pulse sensor and choose a different input for the wearable project. This led me to think what other attributes constitute the essence of life. Heartbeat is of course the most direct and obvious thing. However, sound can also express lifeness, which is why I decided to use the sound sensor instead of the pulse sensor. This decision has allowed me to follow the same conceptual idea, however, it also solved the library conflict problem in Arduino IDE as Makecode has the function to receive signal on the sound sensor on the board and also at the same time send signal to external elements.

Next Steps
Go big! More lights! A whole dress full of flowers!
One of the challenges limited by the current situation is not only the limited material that I could work with (I only have fiber optics and 8 LEDs at hand.), but also a limited time frame to make something nice and polished. I only made 8 flowers but decided to make the small amount nice and pretty. However, given more time in the future, I’d like to go big and make a whole dress covered in lights. Big scale of things always look nice.
Brighter lights
One thing I noticed during my project is that the sewable LEDs are not big or bright enough for all the fiber optics to be equally bright. The fiber optics in the center are brighter and the ones on the outer area are dimmer. I think using brighter LEDs or use Neopixels will solve this problem.
Pulse sensor
It’s a shame that I could not use the pulse sensor on Adafruit this time because of the conflict of libraries. However, I would still like to use it in the future in some capacities to add that element of life in the project. Perhaps I will make gloves as part of the design and place an external pulse sensor there.
API
One thing I would really like to try is to incorporate some kind of environmental API to the wearable and play with different data visualization approaches. Perhaps the more polluted a place is, the dimmer the lights will be on the dress for example.

Bibliography

Clements40. Fiber Optic Concrete Table. 2018. YouTube. April 3rd 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7UrfCaF0PM&t=62s

Iris van Herpen. Shift Souls. 2019. YouTube. April 3rd 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwJb0-20Ad4

Joyplanes RC. LED lights in a jumper / sweater, wearable electronic project | JLCPCB. 2018. YouTube. April 3rd 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5U8Db2PbfY

Kobayashi, Hiroki et al. “Wearable forest clothing system: beyond human-computer interaction” SIGGRAPH ’09: ACM SIGGRAPH 2009 Art Gallery. 2009: 1-7. ACM Digital Library. Web. April 3rd 2020. https://dl-acm-org.ocadu.idm.oclc.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1667265.1667267

leucocephala. How to make a fiber optic light diffuser with a dot of hot glue. 2011. YouTube. April 3rd 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSdpRzBbR2E

Lumen Couture. Fiber Optic Lighting for Wearable Tech: Beginner How-To Guide. 2016. YouTube. April 3rd 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nitoFevfIJg

PERFECT-STYLE-KNOWER. Fashion and Nature – Liliya Hudyakova The greatest designers are inspired to create their most fabulous pieces, 2018. Web. April 3rd 2020. https://perfectstyleknower.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/fashion-and-nature-liliya-hudyakova-the-greatest-designers-are-inspired-to-create-their-most-fabulous-pieces/

Rantala, Jyri et al. “Fiber optic sensors for wearable applications” Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. 15.1(2011): 85-96. ACM Digital Library. Web. April 3rd 2020. https://dl-acm-org.ocadu.idm.oclc.org/doi/abs/10.1007/s00779-010-0303-y

Wikimedia Commons. File:Pohutukawa flower stamens and styles.jpg, 2016. Web. April 3rd 2020. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pohutukawa_flower_stamens_and_styles.jpg

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TalkTags

Project description

TalkTags are social wearable badges or accessories that use inbuilt voice notes to engage people in conversations. The TalkTags are designed such that each tag has a unique pattern that can tag on to another TalkTag. When they are stacked on one another, it activates and the users can switch through different conversation starters to invite a ‘real-world chat’. They were inspired by the mobile phone etiquette of putting phones face down in social settings to indicate that one is eager to hear and engage in a conversation IRL.

Mentor: Kate Hartman
Course: Advanced Wearables, Digital Futures | OCAD University

Keywords: interaction, design, wearable, electronics, emotions, social

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Project Context

Sherry Turkle’s globally acclaimed research in the space of social dynamics in the technological world is elaborately narrated in her book Reclaiming Conversations. In one chapter about Family she narrates a dinner scene and there comes the mobile phone, the ultimate antagonist of the social conversation. The description sparked off the sketch of the mobile phone etiquette we follow in meeting rooms and social gatherings, where we put down our phone face-down as an indication that ‘you have my attention’. It was this nuanced moment that sparked the idea of the TalkTags. A wearable badge that, when we meet people, we pull out and stack-up on the table and it by virtue of the inbuilt interactions invites the users to start a conversation. Leon Lu’s thesis project Social Medium (image below) also has a similar interaction inbuilt in a table where the surface flattens down for use only when the user put down their phones.

Leon Lu's thesis project Social Medium table

Wearables by their nature have the potential to impact in-person social interactions, like clothing and accessories they add to the history, the social-cultural dynamics, the lifestyle and the way of being or feeling in the moment of wearing them or interacting with someone adorning them. Similar explorations have been done in the space of social wearables which set the context and the precedent work for the project.

Lågom is a social wearables prototype

Lågom is a social wearables prototype (image above), i.e. a wearable that augments collocated social interaction. This design is meant to support people to be aware of and better regulate their verbal participation in group discussions. Lågom takes the shape of a colourful, bulky and funny looking flower that senses the wearer’s speaking and responds with haptic and visual feedback. The haptic feedback to increase self-awareness of participation, and to help people better regulate their participation in group discussions. The device was designed to be worn like a brooch around the lapel area technically, for the microphone orientation and the haptic feedback was intended to be felt close to the shoulder to emulate a tap-on-the-shoulder-style reminder, and the visual output needed to be in proximity to the speaker’s face/chest area so that others’ focus on the device would not impede simultaneous monitoring of the speaker’s gestures while speaking (Dagan, et.al).
Taking into account the cognitive and the ergonomic details of the Lågom device placement, the TalkTags were designed to have a visual graphic on them so that the user knows that one tag fits into the other or there has to be a physical ‘puzzle piece fit’ like interaction to activate the device. The wearable should also be accommodative to different wearing or carrying behaviours. The feedback for when the device is on, active, off should also be evident to the users as they built conversation around it. The device should also not be obtrusive that in starting a conversation, it should not then become an obstacle in the process.

inspiration

DURR is a simple, colourful little watch, from Skrekkøgle, that shivers every 5 minutes. By giving a quick shiver every five minutes, Durr is more about reminding the wearer to make the most of their daylight than being a timepiece. It’s also to further investigate the subjective nature of time. By shivering every 5 minutes, the wearer can clearly feel how 5 minutes of waiting can feel extremely different than 5 minutes of watching TV. The haptic feedback in this product was a fascinating one to have like when the TalkTags are tapped on or when they are separated or could indicate when another person with a TalkTag is around.

Another project in a wearable pendant space is a The Karma coin, a speculative fiction piece which exists in a diegetic world where, “The more good you do, the high will be the value of your coin.” The coin has a number display to indicate the deed score. The coin alerts its user through temperature also. It gets warm when you do a good deed and it gets cold if you do a crime or a bad deed. The value on the coin also changes with the deed. The more good you do, the high will be the value. This coin is used for your daily transactions and it only works when used by the owner himself.
The wearable here is used as a personal tracker and a reminder of the person’s daily deeds with respect to society deeds as a whole. With the TalkTags, I wanted it to be a personal wearable and imagined it in a world where the physical conversation could be tracked with an intent to reclaim conversations.

Process of Making

I started the making process with exploring how I could store sound files in the Adafruit CPX board or in simple ways to ‘make it talk’. As per the Adafruit reference documentation, it was more straightforward to use Circuit Python for the code and not Arduino IDE. With Circuit Python I was able to have the board work like a small storage drive and load recorded voice notes in it. I initially tested it with sound files from freesounds.org and later recorded my voice note, edited the sampling rate in audacity and then used those .wav files in the final version.

sound-files-screenshot

The Interactions
The key intent with the TalkTags was to have a way to physical make people meet and the meet-up would only activate the devices. The idea was to use the IR sensor to detect the presence or use a proximity sensor ad eventually I decided to use the nature of textile sensors i.e. create a Bridge Switch. The user adorns a TalkTag, a small pendant like wearable with strap affording different ways of carrying it. The TalkTag has two faces, one with the conductive fabric pattern and the other side with the interface for the active mode.

talktags1

The pattern face on the two TalkTags is designed to be the positive-negative patterns of each other such that they indicate to the user that one fits into the other, like the couple’s pendant jewellery pieces that become a whole when put together. Once the TalkTags are superimposed or stacked up to match the pattern the switch turns on and the device is activated with a green light indication.  When the TalkTags are stacked over each other the pattern on one Tag bridges the broken switch connection on the other and the device is activated.

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The other face of the TalkTag had the interface for when the device is activated. The face has a circular dial which includes a window in the felt for the neopixels on the board, and two capacitive switches to play the voice notes, recorded as icebreaker questions to spark conversation.

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Wearability Assessment
For the wearable form, I wanted it to be palm size and something that could be carried in different ways like around the neck, on the wrist, hooked on-to a belt loop like a pocket watch, or fitting into a pocket. I used Felt for the casing to make it like a pouch with a button loop. The button loop would serve as a hook to add a strap to carry the Tags and also as a pouch opening to be able to access the electronics inside. All electronic connections were made using conductive thread and conductive fabric.

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Choice of Aesthetics
I chose the TalkTags to have a circular form keeping in line with the circular form of the Adafruit CPX and using the holes in the board along the circumference to make the connections with conductive thread. The pattern design was inspired from Celtic knots as they serve as a symbol of being intertwined in the moment of the conversations and it was modified to work as a Bridge switch. The circular dial like pattern of the interface was sketched keeping in with the circular arrangement of the neopixels on the board which were used to give visual feedback. Building on that I designed the capacitive switches to be part of a dial, a reminder of dial interfaces in consumer electronics that are used as controllers in music or voice devices.

files for wearables

Materials & Making

Felt, Conductive Fabric, Conductive Thread, Fabric, Embroidery Thread, Adafruit Circuit Playground Express, & coded in Circuit Python

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Circuit/Schematic Diagram

Link to code on GitHub

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Next Steps
For the next version of the wearable, it would be interesting to explore a series of the TalkTags where they have a system of patterns and can be used to interact amongst the set i.e. trying out a network of more than two. Other interactions I could explore would be using the Mic on the board to listen to the sounds of the conversation and have feedback or interaction. Taking inspiration from the Lågom wearable, haptic feedback could be explored to indicate a TalkTag presence nearby.

User analysis of socially using the wearable would be an interrogation into how wearables affect awareness of self-participation, impact participation patterns and impact on conversation dynamics. The initial attempt of the TalkTag was to make people look up from their phones and engage in real conversations, but the wearable could also be accessory on the phone that runs with an application built around the same behaviour harnessed here.

In the context of Social-distancing (Covid-19)
Though the project began with an exploration into social wearables and voice as an interface in the context, it evolved into a social wearable for inviting conversation with a small diegetic narrative to hear explaining the context of use.

As I was proposing this project, the world was being enveloped by the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic that reached over 192 countries pushing us all indoors into our homes and making social-distancing the new normal for the many months to come. The pandemic crisis is being tackled with extreme and unforeseen measures in terms of healthcare, logistics and policies but my ethnographic side can’t stop pondering over the changing social behaviour and its associated outcomes.

It is January 2021, twelve months post the pandemic first hit global news, people are finally starting to come out of their houses, not wearing masks and allowed to shake-hands with the abortion of the six feet social-distancing policy. The fear of the infection and the daily in-graining of social-distancing has crept into our social behaviour and we are having a tough time to make conversations or to share social spaces. My friend Sonia and I approach each other, each adorning the TalkTag, a small pendant like wearable which is designed as a token to invite conversation. Sonia wearing it around her neck and I have my Tag hooked on to my belt. We greet each other from across the park and find a bench. We sit on either side of the bench counter and pull our TalkTags. We don’t shake hands but we tap our Tags and stack them on the table, the green light turns on. With a quick tap on the TalkTag we switch between our pre-stored conversation starters and hear them out. On one such tap, the device voices out, “What was your favourite movie as a child?” and it makes us both look at each other and smile. We just knew it and out, come to the nostalgia-filled stories of our teenage years when we would have stay-over Harry Potter movie nights with ice-creams and pizzas. The conversation goes on for hours and we have completely forgotten how we hadn’t physically met and spoken for months at a stretch.

talktags-interaction

References

  1. Circuit Playground Express ID: 3333 – $24.95? Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits. Retrieved January 15, 2020 from Creatron Inc, Toronto
  2. Dagan, Ella, et al. “Design Framework for Social Wearables.” Proceedings of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference  – DIS ’19, ACM Press, 2019, pp. 1001–15. DOI.org (Crossref), doi:10.1145/3322276.3322291.
  3. Dagan, Ella, et al. “‘Not Too Much, Not Too Little’ Wearables For Group Discussions.” Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Association for Computing Machinery, 2018, pp. 1–6. ACM Digital Library, doi:10.1145/3170427.3188500.
  4. “Durr, the Vibrating Watch From Skrekkogle That (Sort Of) Tells Time.” Core77. www.core77.com, https://www.core77.com/posts/26234/Durr-the-Vibrating-Watch-From-Skrekkogle-That-Sort-Of-Tells-Time. Accessed 11 Apr. 2020.
  5. Intro to CircuitPython with Adafruit Circuit Playground Express. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIcq6sr7EmY. Accessed 11 Apr. 2020.
  6. “Karma Coin.” GlobalFuturesLab. www.globalfutureslab.com, https://www.globalfutureslab.com/karma-coin. Accessed 11 Apr. 2020.
  7. Lu, Leon. Social Medium. OCAD University, 2017. openresearch.ocadu.ca, http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/1712/.
  8. “Make It Talk.” Adafruit Learning System. learn.adafruit.com, https://learn.adafruit.com/make-it-talk/circuitpython. Accessed 11 Apr. 2020.
  9. Turkle, Sherry. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. 2016.
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Breathe In Breathe Out

 

Breathe In Breathe Out

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  • Project Description 

This project was inspired by the current global pandemic, where everyone is in the self-quarantine and social distancing situation. Using masks have been one of the top topics ever since the breakout, it is still a highly arguable object, but it is somewhat a symbol for this crisis. There is no specific person that I intended to design for, but I was more thinking about this as a tool for storytelling and performance. The mask has two parts on both sides which could create movements that are sound-triggered.

 

  • Project Context: 

From my original proposal, I was going to use SMA(Shape Memory Alloy) for my project, it is a metal that can change shape when heated up or having current run through. The reason why I picked this was that during my research, I saw a series of projects created by Jie Qi from the MIT Media Lab, who was using SMA with paper to form a lot of fascinating pieces. Her initial idea was that paper could be working with SMA due to its characteristic for being light and soft, so the movement will be easily formed. Which brought me thinking that most fabrics are sharing similar characteristics with paper, why not use it on fabric?

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Paper Circuit with SMA by Jie Qi

Above are two examples that Jie created which showcased the possibility of combining paper with SMA, copper tape and moderate sewing was required for completing the circuit and hold the SMA in position.

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Animatronic Tail by Circuito.io Team

I was also looking at the project called Animatronic Tail created by the Circuito.io Team, they designed it for a live stage performance. It wasn’t a complex design, only a few components were used, such as 3D printed parts, Arduino, analog joystick, and servos. But the movement was surprisingly vivid and alive, it really brought out the potential of what tiny objects can do.

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LiftTiles by Ryo Suzuki and others

The project LiftTiles is also a very intriguing inspiration, using inflatable actuators to create solid shape and movement, this could apply to different situations, I am thinking about the possibility of displaying it on garments, or fashion installations. The fact that the shape could be so easily created and hold, it is such an unexpected way to express emotions and build structures.

 

Unfortunately the thickest SMA online was sold out so I bought the one that’s 0.006″ which was the same one that Jie was using in her projects. It was my first time playing with SMA and it was definitely challenging, first of all, it was thin like hair and hard to bend to shape. Also, I was using tape to hold it to the piece paper that I was planning to test, because there was current running through it so it would get hot and kind of melted the tape, the same thing happened later on when I was switching the material from paper to tulle. After all, the SMA did not work the way I expected within a short amount of time.

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(Initial test)

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(SMA burned/melted the tape and tulle)

Below are a few initial designs for the project, my goal was to create a movement on garments which could express the concept of wearable sculpture. And I was planning to use the maker lab for some laser cutting and 3D printing, but due to the lockdown, it was not an option anymore.

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Under the current circumstances, it was hard to obtain a lot of materials and access to the prototyping lab, there was nothing else to do except for coming up with a different design but maybe a similar idea. Over the past few months, using masks has been one of the most arguable topics ever since the breakout. I wanted to create something that relates to it but in an exaggerated way. The first thing that came to my mind was the natural activity of breathing. Because the placement of the huge mask I designed could cover up the neck area as well, which was inspired by the gills on fish, I wanted to create movements around there to emphasize the concept of breathing.

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The Inchworm robot and Perk-up Ears project gave me the inspiration of how to achieve my concept, they were both using sound sensors and servos for the movements.

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Inchworm Robot by Kathy Ceceri

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Perk-up Ears by Dave Astels

 

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I started off with the other half pair of old jeans left from the last project, cut and sew it to the desired shape.

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A little placement tryout on myself, just to see how it should be looked like later. The picture on the left, I realized it looked too aggressive and hard to place the electronic components, so I was thinking about something more leaning towards the second picture.

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Hence the reason why I cut out some cardboard and used the glue gun to build the structure for the pointy shape and the position for the servo to go in.

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Gluing the tulle to the surface of the mask and the cardboard structure to its inside.

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  • Parts, Materials, Technical Assets: 

Adafruit playground express

servo

alligator clips

tulle

glue gun

thread

wire

  • circuit diagram or schematic

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  • link to code on GitHub

https://github.com/NeonChip/NeoC/blob/master/Wearable%20final

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  • Wearability Assessment:

Fashion – Can strongly affect the perception of the comfort and desirability of a wearable device.

User-friendliness – Respects the mental model of the end-user, proposing options that facilitate the interaction, in an easy and intuitive approach.

Simplicity – Refers to the ease of use, intuitiveness, and affordance of the device.

Motti, Vivian. Caine, Kelly. “Human Factors Considerations in the Design of Wearable Devices.” October 24, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1177/1541931214581381

 

  • Video of the interaction*

 

  • Challenges & Successes: 

The biggest challenge for me was definitely the unfamiliarity of using SMA, it is a material that is hard to control or work with, but I do believe that it has so much potential and possibilities in the future.

  • Next Steps: 

I still want to follow my original idea of the wearable sculpture, I would have collaborated more digital fabrication in my project if it was possible.

  • References:

 

Qi, Jie. “How-To: Work with Shape-Memory Alloy.” January 31, 2012. Makezine, https://makezine.com/2012/01/31/skill-builder-working-with-shape-memory-alloy/

Astels, Dave. “Circuit Playground Express Perk-up Ears.” August 22, 2018.  Adafruit, https://learn.adafruit.com/perk-up-ears

Ceceri, Kathy. “Cardboard Circuit Playground Express Inchworm Robot.” October 25, 2018. Adafruit, https://learn.adafruit.com/Cardboard-Robot-Inchworm

Circuito.io Team. “Animatronic Tail.” March 26, 2017. Arduino Project Hub, https://create.arduino.cc/projecthub/circuito-io-team/animatronic-tail-by-circuito-io-e40ba1?ref=search&ref_id=wearable&offset=10

Ryo Suzuki, Ryosuke Nakayama, Dan Liu, Yasuaki Kakehi, Mark D. Gross, and Daniel Leithinger. “LiftTiles: Constructive Building Blocks for Prototyping Room-scale Shape-changing Interfaces.” 2020.
https://ryosuzuki.org/lift-tiles/

 

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Full Moon Mask

 

 

Processed with VSCO with h3 preset

Full Moon Mask

Masks have been used since antiquity for both ceremonial and practical purposes, as well as in the performing arts and for entertainment. They are usually worn on the face, although they may also be positioned for effect elsewhere on the wearer’s body. Masks are  crucial elements of different cultures and traditions. Performative masks  always seem to create an illusion and distance between the viewer and performer. My goal was to design a “connecting mask” which would react to both kinds of  interaction: personal and coming from the audience. This mask  allows the viewer to be a part of performance and feel the outcome, while the performer will experience total connection with the audience. 

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Project Context:

Magnhild Kennedy (Demselfrau)

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https://www.damselfrau.com/gallery

“No designing and no overthinking. I just sculpt. Most of it happens in the actual sewing and making.” 

“Texture and colour is important. Just ‘tasting’ and finding the tone and sculpting until it feels right. I’m inspired by people’s homes and how they live with their objects around them. I often feel like I’m decorating a space, more than making a mask.”  Demselfrau

Magnhild Kennedy is a Norwegian artist.  After moving to London in her 20’s she was introduced to London night like. First masks were parts of party outfits.  This vive of freedom, creativity and fun can be noticed in her masks.  Working in vintage stores provided the artist with various shiny and bright materials. The chaotic and bright game of materials and colours really appeals to me. Even though, I did some sketching before starting working, improvisation was a big part of my project. My work also depends mostly on materials I have and then I start playing with imagination.

When I watch at her works, I experience very light and happy emotions, and that was my main intention for my project, as well. During pandemic, masks are an obligation, filter you have to put on to go out. I wanted my mask to be a source of joy and happiness.

Performative Masks in different cultures

“Masks have been used almost universally to represent characters in theatrical performances. Theatrical performances are a visual literature of a transient, momentary kind. It is most impressive because it can be seen as a reality; it expends itself by its very revelation. The mask participates as a more enduring element, since its form is physical.” ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

“The stylistic concepts of Cubism and Surrealism, for example, are apparent in the masks executed for a 1957 production of La favola del figlio cambiato (The Fable of the Transformed Son) by Italian dramatist Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936). A well-known mid-20th-century play using masks was Les Nègres(1958; The Blacks) by French writer Jean Genet. The mask, however, unquestionably lost its importance as a theatrical convention in the 20th century, and its appearance in contemporary Western plays is unusual.” ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

My opinion, is that masks recently have become parts of our lives. We call them filters and every post on social media is a sort of performance. Masks(filters) in Instagram, Snapchat and other social networks attract many users, their followers and reactions. Therefore, based on the traditional masks of different cultures and mass pop culture of filters I decided to crate a Full Moon mask. My mask is a combination of traditions and digital elements. The face of my mask is based on images of sun, moon and floral elements. I would day my mask is closer to traditional pagan masks, which symbolize connection with sun and nature ( because of the colours of the tulle and round shape, I called my mask Full Moon).

James Merry and his works for Bjork

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James Merry is a hand embroidery artist who is famous for his masks for Bjork’s album Utopia.

“One of Björk’s early visual references for that album was embroidery, like small stubborn Icelandic plants stitching together an open wound. I got really excited by that and started making small pieces of needlework for her to wear as we prepared the first music videos. I think some of the first things I made were some stockings embroidered with an Icelandic plant called blóðberg for the Black Lake video, and an embroidered latex headpiece for her birthday present that ended up in the Family moving album cover.” James Merry

His works are very detailed and complicated. They remind me more of live organisms. His masks are nor only material decoration for Bjork’s performance, but they rule the aesthetics of her last album. Utopia is something mysterious, prefect and alien.

Comparing to Damselfrau, Merry’s works are more thoughtful and fragile. He uses less materials, but there are big ideas behind his masks, the same with Bjork’s songs.  Looking at his works and Utopia videos, I got inspired to use little LillyPad LEDs, as they look like a magic powder from Utopia clips.

Parts, Materials, Technical Assets

  • Adafruit CPX
  •  1 servo motor
  • 3  Lilypad LEDs (white)
  • purple tulle
  • threads
  • transparent plastic (moving part)
  • beads
  • conductive thread
  • fishing line

Circuit

circuit

Code: https://github.com/MariaShirokova/Final-Project-for-Wearavles-Interactive-mask

Process:

Sketcing

img_2794 img_2795 img_2796 img_2797

Prototyping

  1. Cardboard: first, I started with the cardboard base for mask, as I thought to put tulle on it. Cardboard helped me to figure out future location for servos and eye moving mechanism.

 

2. Then, I came up with the idea of using embroidery hoop as a base for the mask. It also fit my initial idea of a round shape. However, when I get access to 3D printer, I want to try different shapes ( less round). I glued a part of eye moving mechanism to the hoop and tested my mechanism on it.

3. Bead weaving and Embroidery . After I made sure, my servo is working and is able to lift eyes, I started deigning embroideries and beads schemes. I downloaded an app BeadTool which transfers drawings into bead circuits and used it for eyes’ bead scheme

 

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Embroidery is very close to drawing, so I reproduced my sketches using orange and yellow colours.

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After I finished with the embroidery ornaments, I started implementing lights – output for a second type of interaction – coming from a person who wears this mask. My idea was to affect leds with capacitive touch, so interaction would look very delicate and transparent. I sewed leds using conductive thread. In the beginning, I sketched a mouth made of leds in a circle. But, in reality 9 leds looked too bright and made other parts of the mask unnoticeable.

img_2749Therefore, I removed these leds  and shorten number to 3 leds on different parts of the face: on right/left cheeks  and I the middle forehead where  embroidery could diffuse the light and decreased the brightness.

img_2770Another idea was to use pompoms on top of the mask and cover the yellow mechanism circle with them (all my sketches included pompom bubbles on top) . But in the end, I decided that there already too many things going on the face. The only problem I wanted to solve with pompoms is to make composition less symmetrical and to connect two parts of the mask with one bright shape – pompoms. This is what is left for a next step of this project. When I make a different shape for the base ( not a circle)  I will be able to include more circle shapes into this composition.

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In the end I was a bit tired of circles and I wanted mask too look less round, so I made long eyelashes/eyebrows/cheeks/hands. They are also can be used to cover the bright light of LEDs.

Although, I tried to sketch face details before I started prototyping, in the end I realized that this mask does not have to repeat human face symmetry and decided to deconstruct the face and play with parts’ locations.   I came up with 4 modes with removing and changing eyes’ positions using double sided tape. This face constructor allows me to easily adapt the mask to different bases or even using some parts separately. For instance, a piece of tulle with eyes can be an independent mask.

img_2772 img_2775 img_2771 img_2770

 


Wearability Assessment

  • Simplicity. Refers to the ease of use, intuitiveness and affordance of the device. Details can be removed or moved to other parts of the mask ( eyes, eyelashes)
  • User friendliness. Respects the mental model of the end user, proposing options that facilitate the interaction, in an easy and intuitive approach. (Allows performer to move, act and see). 
  •  Wearability. Considers the physical shape of objects and their active relationship with the human form (Minimum of wires, as it is worn on the head). I was trying to use mostly conductive threads for connections, but I had to use alligator clips for the servo. They are located in the bottom, so the user can still see. 

8a0f4b0d-1796-488e-af03-f2e69ea7170d

  • Skeleton which keeps mask solid – I used embroidery hoop, which is a base for all the elements. 

References:

“A B O U T.” Jtmerry, www.jtmerry.com/about.
“Damselfrau: The Bewitching Artistry of Magnhild Kennedy’s Mask Making.” Yatzer, 8 Sept. 2019, www.yatzer.com/damselfrau-magnhild-kennedy.
Stefan, et al. “10 Incredible Cultural Masks From Around the World.” Blog | Western Union, 29 Nov. 2018, www.westernunion.com/blog/cultural-masks-of-the-world/.
Thomson, Jeffrey. “Why James T Merry, Co-Creative Director for Björk, Says Being an Oxford Graduate Was a Detour.” LOVE, LOVE, 15 Jan. 2020, www.thelovemagazine.co.uk/article/why-james-t-merry-co-creative-director-for-bjork-says-being-an-oxford-graduate-was-a-detour.
Wingert, Paul S. “Funerary and Commemorative Uses.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 10 Feb. 2020, www.britannica.com/art/mask-face-covering/Funerary-and-commemorative-uses.

 

 

 

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Pressoles

 

Project Title

Pressoles – Pressure sensitive soles

 

Project Description

This project was a part and in continuation of the series of projects I made for the previous assignments. Keeping in mind the theme I had selected earlier, I decided to go ahead with it. I was planning on building something that is meant for a bold user who likes to live life to the fullest. The idea behind this wearable was to create something that made the wearer stand out in the crowd. This project was meant to add a fun and interesting element to a simple activity such as walking, dancing or running and make it enjoyable for the audience as well. This starting point led me to come up with the idea of pressure sensitive soles that display your pressure interaction in terms of illuminated output. The sole has two pressure sensitive regions, which vary based on the action i.e. walking or dancing. The input, once crosses the threshold value, leads to change in the display colour. The two areas are the heel and the front part of the foot. This alternate pressure on both these areas during walking or dancing is what creates the interaction. If the person isn’t moving, as in simply standing, the interaction is minimal with no change in colour. The pressole is intended for bold users in a lively setting, such as party hangout areas or even dance studios.

 

Project Context:

During the ideation and concept building phase of this project, I was looking for inspirations from wearables worn by people that have interactive light as an output. The concept of placing a light element on your body that has variable output based on pressure required body parts that exert pressure on a certain surface – foot, elbows, joints. I decided to go with the foot as the pressure exerted by the entire body through the foot on the ground is a decent amount of input with solid values and minimal fluctuations. Before finalizing on this, I did come across this magnificent project where an 8×8 display LED matrix was attached to the hat in order to make a ‘use for all occasions’ sort of hat that can be customized as per need. Link: https://www.hackster.io/hackershack/customizable-led-display-hat-f29bf5

blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera_1_2017-06-30_1531_c0046_00_00_05_13_still029_2awnc9opyq

Image: From the project, customizable-light based hat.

 

These fancy light visualizations on the hat are trendy as well as a great way to customize your own look. The visualizations in this project are based on the users need. You can have text, images or visualizations formed by LED combinations. Another project called the ‘Firewalker LED sneakers’ is also a great example of how to customize your looks. These are sneakers with an LED strip that light up as you walk. The LED’s here are in a strip form stuck to the base of the shoe. Link: https://learn.adafruit.com/firewalker-led-sneakers/overview#

flora_becky-stern-firewalker-sneakers-adafruit

Image: Firewalker LED sneakers in action. Source: https://learn.adafruit.com/firewalker-led-sneakers/wear-em 

Both these projects have been great leading points of inspiration that formulated the idea of having pressure as the main key element in order to measure it and creatively depict it in such a manner that it doesn’t seem that technical.

Another great project that had pressure measurement based on the input received from the sole pressure. These soles had pressure measuring sensors stuck onto the base wherein one can step on, and this v=would give a feedback which would then get mapped onto the system. Link: https://www.hackster.io/Juliette/a-diy-smart-insole-to-check-your-pressure-distribution-a5ceae

When I decided to make the pressure sensors from scratch, I also had the idea of creating the shoe as a whole. For this, Troy Nachtigall’s origami shoes came in as a big influence in my project. He has explored with 3D origami shoes (Link: https://troykyo.net/) along with solemaker shoes. These projects broadened my horizon. Another beautiful self-made felt shoe project by a Royal College of Art graduate Gaspard Tiné-Berès has also been influential through my process of ideation.

dezeen_lasso-shoes-by-gaspard-tine-beres-at-show-rca-2012-1     dezeen_lasso-shoes-by-gaspard-tine-beres-at-show-rca-2012-2

Image Source: https://www.dezeen.com/2012/06/21/lasso-shoes-by-gaspard-tine-beres-at-show-rca-2012/

With multiple inspirations during my ideation, I could clearly see what I wanted to create. With a fixed mind of using pressure sensors, I decided to create them, which were well-documented in the ‘How to get what you want’ website. Link: https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=65

These were made out of neoprene and velostat. The idea was to have these analog pressure sensors to control the LED’s on the CPX based on the threshold value set.

 

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Image: Neoprene Pressure Sensor. Source: https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=65

These projects acted as a guiding source for me, in order to take this forward. My idea was something which had a visual feedback every-time the pressure detected was more than the threshold. I was initially planning of having separate R, G and B sections of LEDs that would light up with 4 pressure point areas. But with the availability of materials, I decided to keep it clean with 2 pressure sensors only.

photo_2020-04-03-15-32-57

In the final project, the idea is to have a default LED animation with a constant colour. Once there is pressure on the pressure sensors (P1-top and P2-heel), there is a change in the colour of the affected section of the CPX.

photo_2020-04-09-14-57-53     photo_2020-04-09-14-57-47

Here, in the above image as you can see, the pressure on P2 changes the colour of the bottom portion of the CPX. Thus, while walking based on altering pressures on P1 and P2, the visualization has altering colours.

 

The Making – Photos and Images of the process

Step 1: Creating paper cutouts of the construction and stitching. These are the positions of where the P1 and P2 pressure sensors will be getting attached.

step-1      step-2

 

Step 2: Creating a paper flap for proper measurements in order to create a slip on kind of slipper.

step-4

 

Step 3: Creating the pressure sensors, using neoprene-conductive sheet – velostat – conductive sheet – neoprene, in that order to create the pressure sensors.

step-5

img_20200328_183517

 

Step 4: Stitching the pressure sensors P1 and P2 on the sole.

step-6

 

Step 5: Creating the Slip-on attachment for the sole along with a flap for the battery to go in. Then stitching the entire setup onto the base of the rubber sole.

img_20200331_165909

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Also, cutting of the base sole of the fabric, in order to cover the path of the circuit that goes underneath.

img_20200331_221538_236      img_20200331_221605_799

img_20200331_170021

 

Step 6: Stitching the circuit onto the presentable side of the red slip-on cover. The circuit is stitched using conductive wire. The path is taken from the sides of the rubber sole to avoid any contact with the skin.

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Close-up shots of the circuit and the resistors attached

img_20200402_191516

img_20200402_191521

 

Parts, Materials, Technical Assets

Parts list & Materials used –

  • Velostat
  • Neoprene
  • Conductive fabric
  • Shoe sole
  • Fabric
  • Stitching thread and needle
  • Conductive wire

Technical Assets – 

  • Resistors (220 ohms)
  • Adafruit circuit playground express
  • 8×8 LED Matrix board (for future use) – https://www.creatroninc.com/product/8×8-led-matrix-board/

 

Circuit diagram

1

Image: Using Fritzing, the diagram of a pressure sensor based input

Here, I made use of velostat pressure sensors in the place of the pressure sensors which were placed in the front and back of the sole. The original idea was to use an 8×8 LED matrix but because of procurement issues, that couldn’t be incorporated. So, instead i have used the inbuilt lights of the CPX which was used here as the main board.

In the diagram below, the top pressure sensor controls the LEDs attached in the top half of the CPX and the heel pressure sensor controls the lower half of the CPX LEDs.

circuit

 

Code GitHub 

https://github.com/sanandadutta/Pressole/blob/master/Code

 

Wearability Assessment

The ‘Pressoles’ are made with a mindset of being social wearables. They have input made by a single wearer and the ouput is perceived by both the wearer and others. This falls under the category of expressive wearables but with a single wearer who is the sole input maker.

Source: The Matrix of  who ‘is sensed’ and who ‘senses’ the wearable, from ‘Design Framework for Social Wearables’.

  • Placement: Foot
  • Form language: Shoe shaped
  • Human movement: Walking/Standing/Running
  • Sizing: Foot size of the individual
  • Sensory Interaction: Pressure due to weight

 

Video of the interaction* (1 minute or less)

 

Challenges & Successes

The creation of this project came at a time when the world was facing a global pandemic. Despite the situation of being confined to the indoors, I took it as a challenge to come up with an output that I originally had in mind, but with the resources I had available with me. I wanted to build the entire setup of the Pressoles with an 8×8 LED matrix, which i did buy. But, as I started creating the setup and planning out the build, I realized, I would need tp solder resistors and use a breadboard along with an Arduino to create the entire setup. Due to lack of availability of soldering tools, I decided to use the Adafruit CPX which had inbuilt microcontrollers and LED’s. This made my setup much more cleaner and easier to incorporate.

Apart from this, I might have chosen a different fabric colour for creating the flaps of the shoe. But, I did have velvet maroon fabric in abundance which proved to be handy in this process.

Overall, I did learn to create out of the resources I had with me. And this was a challenge that I enjoyed overcoming.

 

Next Steps

My current project is made using the CPX at present. But I would definitely love to explore the 8×8 LED matrix and try to create visual animations, similar to one of my inspiration projects. This would make the Pressoles 2.0 with a fancier outlook as an expressive wearable.

 

Bibliography of References

“A DIY Smart Insole to Check Your Pressure Distribution.” Hackster.Io. www.hackster.io, https://www.hackster.io/Juliette/a-diy-smart-insole-to-check-your-pressure-distribution-a5ceae. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.
“Customizable LED Display Hat.” Hackster.Io. www.hackster.io, https://www.hackster.io/hackershack/customizable-led-display-hat-f29bf5. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.
“Firewalker LED Sneakers.” Adafruit Learning System. learn.adafruit.com, https://learn.adafruit.com/firewalker-led-sneakers/circuit-diagram. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.
HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT. www.kobakant.at, https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=65. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.
“Lasso Shoes by Gaspard Tiné-Berès at Show RCA 2012.” Dezeen, 21 June 2012. www.dezeen.com, https://www.dezeen.com/2012/06/21/lasso-shoes-by-gaspard-tine-beres-at-show-rca-2012/.
Lasso Shoes by Gaspard Tiné-Berès at Show RCA 2012 | Dezeen. https://www.dezeen.com/2012/06/21/lasso-shoes-by-gaspard-tine-beres-at-show-rca-2012/. Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.
“(PDF) Design Framework for Social Wearables.” ResearchGate. www.researchgate.net, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333938009_Design_Framework_for_Social_Wearables. Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.
Royal College of Art Unveils “Design For The Real World” Exhibition at London Design Festival. inhabitat.com, https://inhabitat.com/royal-college-of-art-unveils-design-for-the-real-world-exhibition-at-london-design-festival/. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.
Troy Nachtigall. https://troykyo.net/. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.
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Angry Bag 2.0 | The Recipe

portfolio-ab-05

PROJECT TITLE
Angry Bag 2.0 | The Recipe

PROJECT BY 
Priya Bandodkar

DOCUMENTATION VIDEO – THE RECIPE

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

‘Angry Bag 2.0 – The Recipe’ is an open-source 3D printable DIY kit that one can use to build the ‘Angry Bag’ (http://blog.ocad.ca/wordpress/digf3010-fw201903-01/2020/03/angry-bag/) electronic wearable at their convenience. The kit contains required instructions to build this wearable including through a 3D-rendered video, list of materials, code and circuit diagram that serves as a blueprint for the circuitry. In addition, the kit supplies a pre-built ready-to-print 3D model of the bag that can be 3D printed in ABS or PLA material and easily assembled by the user. The model contains support elements such as the strap made of links that can be customised to the desired length, mount for actuator, and pipes to carry wires for a sleek circuit design. It can thus be created by anyone with basic understanding of circuit diagrams.

This approach is a culmination of my final project proposal and a response to the ongoing pandemic situation. In my proposal for the final project, I planned to expand my Expressive Wearables project ‘Angry Bag’ (http://blog.ocad.ca/wordpress/digf3010-fw201903-01/2020/03/angry-bag/) by addressing the limitations in the prototype and redesigning the aesthetics through different material choices and fabrication. Due to lack of access to fabrication labs, I was unable laser-cut the proposed design. I was wary of compromising on the aesthetics and finesse, as that was the crux of my expectation from the final project. Through this approach, I was not only able to realise a strong design without compromise but also take it to the next level by making it an open source project.

I have produced two options for the circuitry and consequently two kit options for users to choose from–one with a solenoid actuator and other with a servo actuator–both effective towards fulfilling the concept. The reason for providing the second option is energy efficiency as the solenoid draws more power when compared to servo.

PORTFOLIO IMAGES (3D Renders)portfolio-ab-03portfolio-ab-01

portfolio-ab-02portfolio-ab-04portfolio-ab-07 portfolio-ab-06 portfolio-ab-08 portfolio-ab-09

OPTION SOLENOID

Ingredients

Part Source
1x  Arduino Nano 33 IoT Creatron Inc
1 x LED Light Creatron Inc
1 x Solenoid Actuator Creatron Inc
1 x Analog Sensor (Velostat, Conductive Fabric, Neoprene) of size 7” x 3” Elmwood Electronics (https://elmwoodelectronics.ca/)
Wires Creatron Inc
2 x 2.2K Ohm Resistors Creatron Inc
1 x Diode Creatron Inc
1 x Transistor Creatron Inc
1 x 12V Battery Creatron Inc

 Circuit Diagram

circuit-diagram_solenoid

LINK TO KIT

https://github.com/priyabandodkar/Angry-Bag_2_Solenoid-Kit

This kit contains:

  • 3D video of how to assemble the bag
  • Circuit test video
  • Parts list
  • Code
  • Circuit diagram
  • Editable 3D model in Maya binary format
  • 3D model in STL format for 3D printing

OPTION SERVO

Ingredients

Part Source
1 x Adafruit Circuit Playground Express Board Creatron Inc
1 x LED Light Creatron Inc
1 x Servo Motor Creatron Inc
1 x Analog Sensor (Velostat, Conductive Fabric, Neoprene) of size 7” x 3” Elmwood Electronics (https://elmwoodelectronics.ca/)
Wires Creatron Inc
1 x 2.2K Ohm Resistor Creatron In

Circuit Diagram

circuit-diagram_servo

LINK TO KIT

https://github.com/priyabandodkar/Angry-Bag-2_Servo-Kit

This kit contains:

  • 3D video of how to assemble the bag
  • Circuit test video
  • Parts list
  • Code
  • Circuit diagram
  • Editable 3D model in Maya binary format
  • 3D model in STL format for 3D printing

CONCEPT, PROCESS, DESIGN CHOICES

Below is the initial sketch from my proposal suggesting new material choices (semi-transparent acrylic and cloth mesh) to redesign the aesthetics and bring down the weight of the bag. I realised the weight aspect was crucial when I had made the first my prototype using plywood. Hence the switch to 3D print using ABS or PLA worked perfectly, as this can bring down the weight considerably, making the bag relatively much lighter.

initial-concept-sketch

Construction (3D Model) & Aesthetics

I decided to carry forward the geometric, boxy form for the bag as in the prototype because it brought out the concept distinctively and strongly. I built the model using the 3D modeling software, Autodesk Maya. I created the hinge functionality within the model geometry to facilitate the rotation of the bottom flap, thus eliminating the task of adding a hinge separately. This also added to the clean look of the bag. I cut abstract geometric shapes on the font side of the bag to make it distinguishable and to enhance its appeal as a product. I strategically made holes in the model for the solenoid, LED and wires. In the file, I added secondary elements such as a case to hold the microcontroller and battery on the rear side, mount to hold the solenoid, pipes to carry and conceal circuitry wires. Please refer to the below image for the evolution of the 3D model and design.

3d-model-evolution 3d-model-all

I have thus 3D-modeled the bag and support elements completely in Maya. The 3D model of the woman carrying the bag is an open-source model from FUTURESCAN (https://www.turbosquid.com/Search/Artists/Futurescan). I have worked on the shading, lighting, rendering and animation of all the assets in the scenes.

3d-model-lighting

Circuit Tests

Building on the circuitry from the prototype, I was keen on testing the feasibility of incorporating a solenoid actuator in place of a servo, as it could then be contained within the bag. The circuit for solenoid required incorporating a diode and transistor, but the biggest trade off was that the solenoid consumed more energy and required a 12V battery. I thus ran circuit tests using both solenoid and servo actuators as documented in the video below.

Coding

The code uses data from the analog sensor on the bottom flap, which is triggered by the weight of the objects inside the bag. The analog threshold makes the LED to start blinking. Each LED blink is linked to a counter. Thus once the counter reaches a specified count (in this case, 20), the solenoid pulls/servo rotates and sets the bottom flap to open.

CODES ON GITHUB

https://github.com/priyabandodkar/Angry-Bag_2_Codes

WEARABILITY CRITERIA

This wearable uses critical design, which challenges the status quo of existing affirmative designs (Dunne and Raby, 34). Thus, the purpose of creation of this concept is to critique the norms and standards of wearability.

PROJECT CONTEXT

As I was researching on my spotlight presentation, I came across early works of Anouk Wipprecht such as the Spider Dress, Smoke Dress, and the self-painting Pseudomorph Dress which based on my understanding were underlined by critical design and speculative design.

anouk-ink-dress
Image source: https://www.wired.com/2010/10/dutch-designer-self-painting-dress/

I was intrigued by this quote from one her interviews for Vice, when she talked about the Spider Dress extending the agency through partial autonomy.

“If you wear a design that you partly control and it partly extends your agency through its autonomous actions, you start to question where you end and my system begins.”

-Anouk Wipprecht

(https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/jpvp74/coming-in-2015-a-dress-that-defends-itself)

This affordance of extended agency that a wearable can offer through critical design was pretty strong and I hence aspired to bring it through my concept and design. Instead of augmenting from existing design, I created a uncommon-looking design for a bag, and gave it partial autonomy to decide whether to hold the stuff it is loaded with or not. The cuts on the front side of my design, no flap, and an autonomous bottom flap lended the unique appeal this concept deserved.

While designing wearables, one of the biggest challenges I faced was to contain the circuitry within the aesthetics. All along this class I’ve been trying to wrap my head around making clean design wearables. This was also the crux of the expectation of this assignment prior to this unprecedented situation. When I looked into Wipprecht’s work, apart from the critical design aspect, what also inspired me was the sheer aesthetics and craftsmanship of construction. I studied the making of some her works through online resources, and was able to get my hands on some insights. I learned that Wipprecht primarily modeled her dresses using Autodesk Maya and used different materials for 3D printing them. The choice of 3D material was based on the properties that aligned to expected function of the design.

anouk-smoke-dress-3d
Image Source: https://www.makery.info/en/2017/02/14/anouk-wipprecht-met-le-corps-sur-ecoute/

I realised the level of flexibility in modeling the design scratch was enormous and it helped me eliminate some of the undesired elements from the physical design such as using a hinge. Further I also observed how Wipprecht concealed her circuit elements within 3D printed mounts. I think this was clever not only to keep the clean look but also to secure the parts within the dress. Incorporating the same technique, I used a mount for the solemoid and created a case to hold the battery and micro controller. I additionally created 3D pipes to carry wires, thus adding to the sleek look and also securing the wires.

anouk-spider-dress
Image sources: http://www.anoukwipprecht.nl/gallery, https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/3d-printed-mechatronic-spider-dress-38553/

Next, coming to the documentation for the kit, I seeked inspiration from Alda Escareño’s MDES Thesis at OCAD University. Alda was also my faculty for the digital fabrication class. I believe the way Alda was able to share her work in laser cutting, CNC milling through her thesis project realised in the form of https://www.joyoflasercutting.com/ was an incredible way of sharing work. I could very well connect my intentions with the documentation of this project with Alda’s way. In fact, my recipe had several more diverse ingredients, so it felt pretty apt to me.

joy-of-laser_cutting-1
Image source: https://www.joyoflasercutting.com/fruitcreme

joy-of-laser_cutting-2
Image source: https://www.joyoflasercutting.com/fruitcreme

Synthesising these ideas and inspirations, I created a wearable using the critical design methodology and delivered it using an open source format that could be used by anyone with basic circuit diagram understanding to build, customise and learn from.

REFLECTION

I was very excited about working on the final project initially, and it felt disheartening when it could not be completed the way it was planned. But after being able to accept and adapt to the unprecedented situation, I was able to find a new directionmaking it shareable and open source. This made the work feel purposeful inspite of the constraints posed by the situation. I was deeply satisfied with this renewed approach and the consequent outcome.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dunne, Anthony, and Fiona Raby. Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming. MIT Press, 2014.

“Anouk Wipprecht FashionTech.” Anouk Wipprecht FashionTech, www.anoukwipprecht.nl/.

Ferreira, Becky. “Coming in 2015: A Dress That Defends Itself.” Vice, 23 Dec. 2014, www.vice.com/en_au/article/jpvp74/coming-in-2015-a-dress-that-defends-itself.

Essop, Anas, et al. “3D Printed Mechatronic Spider Dress?” 3D Printing Industry, 22 Oct. 2018, 3dprintingindustry.com/news/3d-printed-mechatronic-spider-dress-38553/.

Escareño, Alda. “Joy of Laser Cutting.” Joy of Laser Cutting, www.joyoflasercutting.com/.

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