Social Switches: Poke Wars



A classic feature of the largest social media network on the planet, the Facebook “poke” is perhaps best described as infamous for its intrusive and pointless nature. Having no real function other than to remind friends of your presence, the “poke” function spawned a colloquial and unofficial game known as the “poke war”.

Friends repeatedly poke one another until one or multiple participating parties give up. Users that have engaged in poke wars over the years sometimes have hundreds, even thousands of unchecked poke notifications from rambunctious friends eager to win the lawless and sadistic game.

This project attempts to create a live action interpretation of the Facebook “poke”, whereby users donning powered gloves and accompanying shirts poke their friends, triggering both a vibration and LED marker, alerting both the friend and those around them that they are being mercilessly and egregiously poked in a brutal, endless cycle of misery.



Electronic Components:

  • Conductive Fabric – 14×12″; LILFB-001220 (Creatron)
  • Conductive Thread – 60ft.; FLORT-000641 (Creatron)
  • LilyPad Vibration Motor; LILYP-398118 (Creatron)
  • 20mm Sewable Coin Cell Battery Holder; LILYB-008822
  • CR2032 3V Coil Cell Battery; BATTG-203200
  • 3mm LED – Red; LEDGE-000320

Other Components:

  • T-shirt – Blue & White; 527 Yonge St.
  • Cotton Glove – Blue; Black Market Used Clothing
  • Fabric Painting Medium
  • Acrylic Paint (Blue and White)
  • Fine-tipped Paint Brushes
  • Sewing Needles


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In my initial sketches, I lay out the overall idea. I toyed with housing the battery locally on the shirt, and simply using the glove as a connecting switch, however I decided that it would be more symbolic of “poke wars” if the offending user were the one to power the circuit. The t-shirt consists of the contact point for the glove, the LilyPad Vibration Motor and a red LED.



I found the alleged Facebook font online, along with the “poke” logo. With some finagling in Adobe Illustrator, I created a template with which to stencil my augmented logo onto the t-shirts.


I wasn’t too pleased with that result so I opted to go and have them printed for a modest fee.


Much better.


Comparison shot for dramatic effect.



I had browsed some info on Kobakant about making a pressure sensitive button using velum and conductive thread, however I had difficulty finding a concise tutorial on how to do it. I tried my hand at producing one but I think I was missing some steps involving an Arduino, so I put the tangental experiment away on a shelf for review at a later date.


These patches of conductive fabric act as the gap/contact point for the conductive finger tips of the glove.


I had originally planned on using a sewable LED for the garment, however the LilyPad Red LED didn’t work in parallel with the vibe board, however the itty bitty 3mm LED worked like a charm.


Testing the circuit midway through production. Components work so far!


Chalk guidelines on the glove! Instead of both traces resting on one finger, I spread them across two fingers for some leeway in the precision of the poke.


These traces were unexpectedly difficult to sew. Definitely got sweaty and red in the face while doing this. In the future, I would probably opt to use a hand mannequin to make the sewing easier.

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It works!…When I’m not wearing it? I tested the shirt while wearing it, and it didn’t seem to work 🙁 I’m not sure why and it definitely requires some scrutiny and more experimentation to figure out that kink.

Social Switches – Justice Stacey

Material & Parts List

Part Number Part Description Quantity Supplier
SPKBZ-221005 DC Buzzer 1 Creatron Inc.
LILYP-010811 LilyPad – LED – White

Diode forward voltage – 2

Diode forward current (mA) – 30

2 Creatron Inc.
LILYP-010899 LilyTiny 1 Creatron Inc.
LILYB-008822 CR2032 Battery Holder 2 Creatron Inc.
BATTG-203200 CR2032 Coin Cell Battery 2 Creatron Inc.
FLORT-000603 Conductive thread – 35ft. 1 Creatron Inc.
RESIS-500025 1/4W 5% RESISTOR (10 PACK) 100 ohm 1 Creatron Inc.
RESIS-500025 1/4W 5% RESISTOR (10 PACK) 39 ohm 1 Creatron Inc.
N.A. Jean button up shirt 1 Gap
N.A. Felt (red & gray) 1 Michaels
N.A. Velcro 1 Fabricland

Circuit Diagrams

Circuit Illustrations



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Social Switches – Lock Box

The biggest concern for me with this project was creating a piece that people would actually be comfortable using, and that would be practical. Most of my ideas in the beginning were really basic touch circuits but I wasn’t really happy with them because it seemed like that would just be another impractical project that I make and then never touch again.

Because of this, I decided to build a small wooden box with a circuit engraved on top. Inlaid into the circuit groves are my electronic components (wires and a red 5mm LED), which are connected to 4.5V worth of AA batteries (3 x 1.5V each) and a small solenoid inside the box. The solenoid, when current isn’t running through it, holds the box closed by keeping its “arm” extended through a metal hook attached to the roof.

I also built three metal rings; one is a plain metal ring, one has a 3V cell battery attached to the top (so the top of the ring is positive and the ring itself becomes negative), and one is a plain metal ring that’s been cut in half and put back together with resin so the two halves don’t touch. This way, each “arm” of the ring can have its own charge.

CONTEXT: You and your two closest allies are running a small cash-based business. You keep all of your cash in the box, which should only ever be opened in the presence of all three of you. Each of you has a ring. When you come together, you each remove your ring and place it in its respective grove on the top of the box, connecting the circuit and sending voltage to the solenoid inside, which snaps back and allows the box to be opened.

Materials List

20mm 3V battery: BATTG-102500 (Creatron)

Duracell AA battery 4-pack: BATTA-154044 (Creatron)

AA x 3 cell battery enclosure: BATTH-010891 (Creatron)

Particle board

Cherry red wood stain

Cherry red wood finish

Metal hinges

Metal rivets

16g steel tubing

5V mini solenoid: USOLE-511015 (Creatron)



5mm red LED: LEDTU-520003

Wood glue

Hot glue

Photos of the Final Work

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I forgot to take photos of my process but I thought it would be useful to describe what I did step-by-step.

  1. Constructed box of particleboard (attaching the hinges was the last step though, to keep the two halves easy to work with)
  2. Troubleshooted circuit (the current I needed for my solenoid wasn’t being achieved with the coin cell battery so I needed to add 3 x AA batteries and make sure everything still worked)
  3. Made rings by cutting slices from a steel tube, then attaching a coin cell battery to one (using hot glue) and splitting the other with resin
  4. Engraved circuit on the top of the box, drilling holes for the circuit to connect to the battery pack and solenoid inside
  5. Stained and applied finish to the box and circuit
  6. Inlaid wires; this was tricky because I needed to strip them to the exact length but the stranded core wire kept breaking up
  7. Attached hook to the roof of the box, lined up with the solenoid so as to keep the box locked while the current is closed
  8. Attached hinges to the back of the box


Circuit Diagram


note* the three switches represent each of the three metal rings, and that weird thing on the bottom left is a solenoid

Social Switches

What it is about..

In this project I have woven together yarn and embroidery floss to create friendship bracelets, that makes a buzzing sound when clasped together. I started out making a specific pattern, but due to the size of my pink yarn was too large to show the pattern, therefore I created my own pattern of overlapping each yarn into each other.

Material and Parts List…

100% cotton yarn – Romni Wools

Embroidery floss – Affordable Textiles

3V Battery – Creatron Inc.

Power Source – Creatron Inc.

Buzzer – Creatron Inc.









Circuit Layout…