Thumb Wars 5000

Assignment 1 (DIGF 6012)

Bijun Chen & Michael Carnevale

Story & Background

In the future envisaged by this assignment, people have lost the ability to connect with each other in the immediate physical world without the use of electronic devices. In such a world everyday communications become difficult especially when one considers just how much of human communication is non-verbal and dependant on more subtle social cues such as a twitch of the eye or a genuine smile. How can designers develop wearable social technologies that can enhance immediate physical communications using technological aids?

In our experiment we decided to focus on the social interaction of play. Play is an important part of human interaction as it facilitates both learning and positive social experiences. A world without play is a bleak one indeed, and so we developed an electronic aid to facilitate the common childhood game of Thumb Wars. In Thumb Wars the object of the game is for players to clasp each others’ hands using their four fingers, and then to finesse their free and available thumbs to pin the opponent’s thumb down to win the game. As shown below we developed a special glove with electronic components to facilitate the game of Thumb Wars where players must press down their opponent’s thumb into an exposed piece of conductive fabric to close the circuit and ring the buzzer to signal victory and defeat.

Circuit Diagram

Below is a diagram demonstrating the circuits in each of the two gloves. To close the circuit and ring the buzzer, one can either press their opponent’s thumb into the exposed conductive fabric found on either their own or their opponent’s glove. The circuit is simple including only a 3V battery, conductive fabric, conductive thread, and a 3V buzzer.


Figure 1: Circuit Diagram

Parts List

  • 1 Pair of gloves
  • 2 Buzzers
  • 2 3v battery
  • Conductive fabric
  • Conductive thread

Visual Demos (Pictures)


Figure 2: Thumb Wars 5000 gloves final version.


Figure 3: Negative and positive ends of circuit in single glove. One patch of conductive fabric is found on the end of thumb (top) and the other found between the thumb and index finger on the hand (bottom).


Figure 4: Pouch inside base of gloves holding the electronic buzzer and conductive threading fed through the inside of the glove to instantiate the open circuit.


Figure 5: View inside the pouch exposing the buzzer and conductive threading

Visual Demo (Youtube video link)

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