Nerd Alert!

This project came out of a conversation with another classmate who had the dubious honour of listening to me rant on about something she, quite frankly, couldn’t care less about. What resulted was an idea about finding some way to have people tell me when I *might* be too excited about something and maybe need to be less nerdy about stuff.

I figured the prototypical symbol of nerdism is the bow-tie, so I began designing my prototype to lean in that direction. My plan was to build something that wasn’t too overt but would get the message across, so I settled on LEDs which would light up when a button (presumably held by the listener) would be pressed. So I began with a test of the circuit to make sure the everything would line up properly with 4 LEDs, then moved to six for the next iteration.

Once I was sure that I had a functioning circuit, I cut a piece of cardboard which would hold the shape of the bow-tie as well as hide the battery and Nudgeable board. Originally, I had thought about hiding the heavier components behind the wearer’s neck on a strap, but figured that it would become unnecessarily awkward to place and make sure everything was working. Instead, I ended up sizing the bows to be just a wee bit larger than the size of the board (my largest component) and thankfully everything is light enough to be held in place by a bow-tie clip.

The wiring of the bow-tie prototype 

The sewing of the envelope for the bow-tie itself turned out to be the toughest part of the entire process – I haven’t sewn since the 8th grade and it shows! As a result, it’s a little rough around the edges and rather than using eyelet clips as I’d originally intended, I settled on velcro since, in all honesty, I’m just not that good at sewing precision things.

I ran a quick test of the whole system to make sure everything was working as expected and then set onto building the activator button. Using a box I found in the lab, I cut a hole for the button and set the nudger inside that.

The button and housing

After that, it was just a case of trying on the bow-tie and making sure it fit. Classy!


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