- Description and Discussion
The emotional apron is a wearable led matrix and its color will change according to the environment. There is a sound sensor attached to the apron and connected to the Arduino board. Technically, the sound sensor is an input port and triggering the led matrix to make changes. There are totally three states of this led matrix(see image 1.1-1.3), specifically, the led matrix will show a blue state to indicate the out space is sort of quiet, and change to red-state when in a pretty noisy environment like a crowded street, or a busy public space. As we are rarely in an environment without any sound, so when there is some external sound that is not enough to reach a level of annoyance, the led matrix will show the green state.
Wearables are sort of electronic devices that can be worn as accessories. They could be embedded in clothing, implanted in the user’s body, and tightly attached to the physical body like the sports watch that be worn on the wrist and will not affect the movement of the human body. Wearable technology should be basically placed in the area that will not disturb people’s movement, so in this project, I chose the apron as a basic wearable framework and embedded the sensor and device inside. In the process of testing, I firstly chose a hoody as a frame, but it turned out that the apron was more wearable which can be taken off or put on rapidly. Although the current apron needs to support by a laptop( the battery container is still being shipped)and the wire connections also need to totally replaced by the conductive sewing thread, but from the perspective of the overall operation, it is highly wearable. Additionally, according to the Body Map- Body Locations for Wearable Technology, it shows the upper whole body(the dark green area in the body map) is a better area to place the device, so I placed the LED Matrix around this area.
For most wearable devices, like smartwatches or fitness trackers, their goal is to use sensors to get users’ information, in other words, our internal information. My thinking is, the external or environmental information could also be considered to be integrated into the wearable devices, in other words, the wearable is not only to track our bodies but also from the external space. So the emotional apron is firstly sensing the external situation and delivering this information to people. The LED matrix is sort of a signal output that can reflect the external sound condition.
4*5 RGB LEDs
Arduino Nano IoT
Ordinary sewing thread & conductive sewing thread
When doing the research, I found three wearable light projects that I want to share. The first one is called Turn Signal Biking Jacket, which is a useful wearable light application. The device is attached to the back of a jacket. People can wear it when doing some sports, especially when riding a bicycle. The controllers are embedded on the cuff, which is easy to click and other people will see the signal directly. Besides, this project is realized by Lily Pad with its related components, so technically the jacket could be washable without the battery. So I think this project is really practical and useful for many activities. More making details could be found from https://www.instructables.com/turn-signal-biking-jacket/
Image is from ‘https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/14/17233430/wearable-media-fashion-tech-nyc-ceres-jumpsuit-interactive’
The second project is a wearable prototype called Ceres(image above), it is designed by the studio called wearable media, a fashion tech studio based in New York City. There is an embedded microcontroller in Ceres programmed to work with NASA’s Asteroid Neo-Ws RESTful API, which collects and catalogs real-time data sets of near-Earth asteroids surrounding our orbit. So the suits will vibrate timely. This project is really beautiful, as it is not just a fashion design, but also a wearable design. The material of the suit is also soft and light, but at the same time, it will also help the user to be aware of the vibration. This project is also a combination of technology and aesthetics.
The last one is a little bit terrible called Bling Bra, even this project is mainly to make fun, but it is indeed a negative example of a wearable light project. Firstly, the way of attachment is too simple, which is only to install on the surface of the bra. The bra is a sort of private suit, which requires some biometric consideration when embedding the devices. So this project is incomplete as I could not find any meaning from the aesthetically and practically.
1.’Where to Wear it: Functional, Technical, and Social Considerations in On-Body Location for Wearable Technology 20 Years of Designing for Wearability,’ Clint Zeagler
2. ‘What is Wearable Technology, How it Works?’ Kela Casery, ’https://codersera.com/blog/what-is-wearable-technology-how-it-works/’
3.’What is wearable tech? Everything you need to know’,’ ChrisSmith’, August 17, 2019