Heartthrob Ring

Accessories and jewelry is an integral part of human décor. It’s been an identity cornerstone, a defining factor, something that we treasure and recognize ourselves with. Traditional precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum adorn our day to day lives in many fine ways.

But what makes something precious to us? What is of value to us? What do we treasure?

Concept

As an exploration into the future world of personal accessories, I worked on constructing a ring, that would have personal value to the wearer which is born out of though rather than what it is made of, its monetary value or traditional aesthetics.

I think that all these aspects, namely, aesthetics, monetary value concerned with materials and their use will be challenged in the coming years.

What goes into making something a wearable?

A few questions addressed during the development process were, what interface is easy in a basic wearable, what should it do, how to create value from minimal interaction with a wearable electronic device?

heartthrob

 

STAGE I

Exploration using a pulse sensor (input) and LED (output)

For this accessory, I used the pulse sensor as input and LED as output.

A few questions that were addressed during this process were. How personal or intimate are body bio indications (i.e. heart rate, pulse rate, breathing patterns)? Can these be shared with friends and family? What do they convey?

The initial idea was a design for a couple band , where the pulse rate of the wearer was sent through a Adafruit Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 to the Huzzah set in their partners ring. This would trigger the LEDs in the ring and make them blink to the pulse rate of their partner.

sketch

adafruit_products_2821_iso_demo_01_ORIG.jpg

The initial exploration with hardware was very basic and was meant to evolve the idea from paper to physical working components, this was done using a Arduino UNO, Pulse sensor and LEDs/Neo Pixels setup.

Arduino UNO + Pulse sensor + LEDs/Neo Pixels

The pulse sensor was set up using an Arduino UNO board the output was in the form of two LEDs. One LED was set to blink to the pulse reading of the sensor and the other was set to fade. This gave a lasting hue to the light produced within the ring.

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Product Design

Two designs were explored for the ring product. The first was a two LED set where the LEDs were wrapped and shaped with the help of masking tape. The second was a single Neo Pixel ring where the electrodes were made of brass wire and were an extension of the ring band, the connecting wires were soldered on to the brass electrodes.

In the case of the Neo Pixel, a separate library had to be added to the code.

Code : https://github.com/WorldFamousElectronics

proto-one-stills

proto-oneb-stills

 

 

STAGE II

During this stage, all the hardware was made hands free. The electronic components were taped to the wrist. The pulse sensor was attached to the back of the Arduino UNO board, this was then strapped to the wrist with tape. The placement of the pulse sensor on the wrist at a certain position was a critical factor for it to function properly.

A pack of 3*1.5V battery pack was used power this system. The battery pack was also taped to the wrist.

proto-two-stills

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STAGE III

At Stage II, the hardware and electronics components were large in size. To reduce the size of the components, the board used at Stage III was the Arduino Lilipad. This is a relatively flat slim and small board often used with textile wearables.

The adjustable wrist strap that was constructed out of Neoprene fabric, where all the electronic components were embedded.

The power source for this wearable version is a 3.7V LiPo battery.

The visual impact of the LEDs in the ring were toned down, so that they were only viewable by the wearer mostly or someone standing in close proximity to the wearer.

arudino-lilipad-with-ftdi led-and-pulse-sensor-setup

 

 

Components used in the construction of the adjustable wristband.

electronic-components

circuit

Making Process

neoprene-strap-1

neoprene-strap-2

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