All posts by Jeremy Nir


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The Project

This final project is meant to be a culmination of the concepts that were learned throughout this Wearable Computing class. I had two main goals:

1. Make something useful. (It solves a problem in the world)

2. Make something finished. (It’s more product than project)


I began looking for problems to be solved. The first and most stressful problem that comes to mind is money. I have problems saving money! It’s so easy to tap a credit card and get what you want. It’s no wonder that everyone is drowning in credit card debt!

Just watch the following video, our society is encouraging people to spend money with a quick (and fun) tap.

So how do I solve the problem of over-spending? Make it harder to spend! I began designing ways to make it hurt when you spend.

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Initially I thought the wallet would bite you or bleed when you spend.
My next design involved a spinning blade. Pain-Wallet I also considered a little pocket poker.
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Ultimately I decided to go with a hand shocker! Classic negative reinforcement.

So it was decided, I would electrocute the user when they pulled out their credit card… but how do you give somebody a little shock without really injuring them?

Building Wallet v.1 The Pain Wallet

Parts List:

1. Three 1.5v batteries in series 2. Transistor 3. Heat + Voltage regulator

Shocking User: I found this tutorial online for making a hand shocker but instead of risking injury with a home made shocker, I went to a prank shop and purchased an electric pen.

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I used the shocking pen and, surprise surprise it hurt. I opened it up to see how it works:

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 6.59.50 PMOn the left are the elements of the shocker and on the right is a diagram of what is inside including power, a transistor and conductive elements to be touched by the user. It’s quite a simple circuit but it took time for me to learn what each part does.

Detecting Wallet Use: I started to build the shocker into the wallet and sewed a switch with conductive thread. Initially the shock would happen using a complex Temboo chain of events that went like this:

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Talking to Connor Campbell about simplifying the project, we realized that when the user removes the card, the circuit could be completed and the shocker would be powered! I sewed this switch with conductive thread into my first wallet.

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A cross stitch of conductive thread on either side of the pocket.
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When the card is removed, the circuit completes and the shocker is powered!

After building the Pain Wallet, I had some time left so I tried building a second version of the wallet with a slightly different concept.

Building Wallet v.2 The Shame Wallet

Parts list:

1. Lilypad Arduino 2. Two TMB-12 Buzzers  3. One ROB-08449 Vibe Motor 4. Conductive thread, wires and solder

The Idea: Wallet v.2 is less about personal pain and more about public embarrassment. In our society, debt isn’t just easy to acquire… it’s encouraged! Check out this video:

Without using electric shocks, how could a wallet stop people from wanting to use their credit card? Something that is more realistic for a user to keep in their pockets.

I decided to use an embarrassing and stressful device – the buzzer! I also added a vibration motor to add to the tactile feel of the wallet.

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The vibe motor is sewn in with conductive thread.
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A shot of the final circuit soldered, taped and sewn in.

Here is a video of the project in it’s early stages:

Once again, I made a circuit that closes when the credit card is removed, this time hooking it up to a Lilypad Arduino. When the switch closes the Lilypad activates a buzzer/vibe sequence which is quite stressful.

Here is the final use video:

The Code:

The code for this project is pretty simple, I referenced this helpful instruction guide for using switches with Lilypad.

Find the code on Github here.

Final Reflections

I’m truly proud of these two wallets. Yes, I made something pretty simple but I think the best designs are simple. They reflect my current push towards being a serious designer of problem-solving artifacts. I want to make more items which make a statement or directly solve problems.

I do not plan to take these projects apart! For once I will leave them soldered and stitched together and simply buy another Lilypad for my next project. After some modifications I will be able to present these wallets as concept prototypes at public shows.

Thank you for your guidance in this course Jackson, I look forward to more designing for the body.

To be introverted is to enjoy time to yourself over time with others. It took some time for me to come up with a concept for this assignment. I needed to use a sensor with the output of an LED to express introversion or help introverts in some way.

Some of my initial concepts:

Detects when your phone vibrates and flings it away.

A noise limiter for introverted quiet types. LED Flashes when you should go to a quiet spot.

A safety blanket with it’s own little light built in. Turns on when you go underneath.

I liked this last idea – I remember being a kid and hiding under a blanket to get some alone time. As I worked on the blanket concept, I remembered another introverted moment. When I was in grade school I would put my hood on and rest my head in my arms. Between the desk and my face was a little cocoon of my own.

I got pretty excited about the idea of a small light within my hood. When I put my face to the desk the light would turn on, giving me a place to read and meditate without being in the darkness.

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Sensors  (Common ones include: Temp, Light, Vibration, Sound, Force, Pulse)

My first idea was a series of light sensors across the inside and outside of the hoodie. This sounded good at first, but I realized that once the light turns on within the cocoon the light sensors will pick them up. Instead of working around that problem, I decided to use a sensor that is completely new to me: The Accelerometer.

I went to Creatron and picked up a $20.00 ADXL335 accelerometer. This sensor detects X,Y,Z values about the angle that it is resting at. I only needed one of it’s values to determine if the user had their head down.

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Parts List:

ADXL335 accelerometer.

Lily Pad Arduino.

Standard LED from Protosnap Kit.

Lithium Ion Battery from Protosnap Kit. 6SP061225

Conductive thread.

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Design Considerations:

While designing the cocoon, I needed to think about how a user would wear and use the system. My first consideration was that a blanket would be too noticeable for an introvert to wear in public. The hoodie would make the perfect cocoon.

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Where would the lights and tech fit into this hoodie? By testing basic prototypes I decided to sew the battery and Arduino into the back neck of the hoodie where it isn’t too noticeable to the wearer. The sensor was placed higher up on the back of the head where the head tilt is most measurable.

The LED was a challenge – it shouldn’t blind the user or be obscured by their arms. I decided to put the light beside the user’s ear/temple where it would light the space without being intrusive. Keeping the LED farther back helped diffuse the light big time!

I designed the Cocoon with subtlety in mind. The light, wires and tech is hidden with the fabric to give the user a safe space without prying questions from curious onlookers. When I tested the Cocoon, I felt safe and alone within my own little head space. This feeling of time alone without loneliness is really at the core of an introvert’s drive.

Building the Cocoon was my first attempt at sewing, my first time using the Lilypad and my first time using an accelerometer. Given all of these new challenges, I made some mistakes.

The challenge with conductive thread is that it’s so conductive! I found myself constantly crossing connections and risking the entire project. I watched this fantastic tutorial which taught me to keep circuits on different sides of the fabric to stop wires from crossing.

Though my circuit works, I would say there is some risk of it breaking down as the user wears it. To reduce these problems (and make sewing a whole lot easier) I would keep my Lilypad closer to my accelerometer. This would help keep my input numbers more consistent and reduce the threat of things tearing.

Creating the Circuit:

I designed a relatively simple circuit:

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The accelerometer feeds it’s Y orientation into the A3 input of the Lilypad. This data would be processed and fed into an LED hooked up to pin 5 output. I built the circuit using alligator clips:

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As you can see, the accelerometer detects the tilt and an if else statement tells the LED to light up or stay off. The slight flicker in this video was caused by a delay which I have since removed.

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The tech worked: I lean forwards to rest my head in my arms and the LED lights up. Next I had to sew the circuit onto a hooded sweater.


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Sewing was challenging but I made it work. I look forward to making this prototype into a higher quality product when I do not have such tight time restraints.

Final Product

Just a regular hoodie…

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Until you lean onto the desk and make a cocoon!

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Next step: Make the circuit more reliable 🙂

Always-On Condom


With the prompt Decline – Sexuality – Disgust we imagined a world in which population has gotten out of control. In order to limit the amount of new babies, people begin wearing contraceptives constantly.

For gentlemen, we have developed the Always-On Condom. This handsome piece of technology senses your heart-rate through your penis and seals the condom at that special moment.

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In a relaxed state.
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At attention.

To produce this prototype, I explored different ways that things attach. I considered the way a bubble is blown from a ring shape. I considered the way velcro hooks on. I considered the way a mousetrap snaps shut.

First, I searched for a tube. The inside of a paper towel roll will get drenched during the sexual process and fall to pieces. My tubal needs were satiated by a pencil crayon holder cut in half.

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I tried using a binder/key-chain clip to hold the two parts together. Ultimately I decided on a smaller and smoother hinge.

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Maybe Bill Gates will give me $100,000 dollars to develop the idea.