* Little Details *

To create a wearable body circuit that promotes interaction by examining details. As the switches are found and turned on, LEDs light up.   

10.5 M of 22GA Brass wire
3 volt battery and battery pack holder
Plastic Beads
5 Lilly Pad LEDs  (blue, yellow, green, white)
Silk Yarn


Final Piece:

 – Had a red and yellow light in the circuit made the cool colours dull.

–  Creating a second switch incorporated into the design.

–   Making sure connection was solid without soldering.
– Creating a flaw in the design small enough that people would still interact with.


–          Creating the extra switch at the bottom of the piece.

–          Removed the red LED to increase brightness of other colours.

–          Created interest to second switch.

Future Improvements:

Solder LEDs Together.

Make a full body piece with many switches.

Fully resolve covering the battery pack.

Switch Inspiration

http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=2036 – tie up switch

Growth – Final Documentation (April 14)

Hi everyone,

Here’s a PDF of my final documentation for Growth,
including the new stuff I presented this past week:

Growth – Final Documentation


Physiotherapy is an often painful and arduous activity, which patients approach with 
loathing and impatience, and sometimes even avoidance. These negative attitudes and behaviors  towards physiotherapy can add considerably to the patient’s recovery time.

My project, Growth, adds a playful layer to physiotherapy by transforming it into a game-like experience with rewards and incentives, thereby increasing the patient’s engagement with their prescribed exercises.

The ultimate aim of the project is to elevate physiotherapy exercises to something that 
a user can ‘look forward to’, or even become addicted to, thereby increasing exercising frequency and speeding recovery.

Badass – Enhancing Social Alienation

Title: Badass

Concept/Objective: To create a wearable and fully functioning supermodern garment to be worn while riding the TTC which would deter others from getting too close to and/or interacting with the wearer.

If strangers come to close to the wearer, the garment will raise the collar to obscure the lower portion of the face of the wearer.

The Intended Scenario:

1) The jacket is put on and the Wearer enters the TTC.

2) There are a few people on the TTC, but the Wearer is not bothered.

3) The vehicle stops and a large number of people get on, the Wearer is a bit uneasy at the thought of being close to strangers.

4) A stranger comes within a meter of the Wearer and the collar of the jacket rises a little.

5) At the next stop, a few people get off of the vehicle but an even larger number of people get on, a few strangers are now within a meter of the Wearer, the collar of the jacket rises higer and begins to obscure the face of the wearer. The spikes which were previously hidden under the collar are now exposed.

6) The TTC vehicle is now very full and the collar is fully raised, giving the garment an intimidating appearance with all the the metal spikes facing outward.

7) The strangers who were crowding the Wearer have now backed off and seem a bit put out by jacket.

8 ) The Wearer relaxes, knowing that they do not look like someone that people want to come near, strangers move away.

9) Once there is no one within a meter of the Wearer, the collar lowers fully, revealing the face of the Wearer.

Parts and Materials:

– Alligator clips

– Mini USB cord

– LilyPad Arduino

– 2 Lithium Polymer Batteries

– Wire

– FTDI Chip

– Analog Distance Sensor

– Black Calfskin Leather

– 2 Servo motors

– Metal spikes

– Metal studs

– Black leather

– Black satin

– Black thread

– Sewing machine

– Interfacing

– 5 volt Regulator

– 3 volt Regulator

– Capacitors

– Snaps

Related Works: Barking Mad by Suzi Webster and Jordan Benwick, a coat that plays back the sounds of different dogs barking with increasing ferocity as a stranger approaches the wearer.

I chose to work with materials that I had never worked with before such as servo motors and proximity sensors, plus I have never sewn leather before. Purposely challenging myself, I knew that I would face some difficulties, but I ended up facing many more than I thought.  There were challenges with the code, voltage, and wiring that have lead to this piece being a work in progress.  Most recently, I got the circuit and code to totally work but when I went to rebuild and solder the circuit, it no longer worked.

Sucesses:  I am very pleased with how the jacket itself turned out, since I have never sewn a jacket before, let alone a leather jacket, I am happy with how it turned out.  Also, I have grown a lot in my knowledge of code, and the use of different components and mechanics.

Next Steps: Next, I will find out what is up with my circuit and why it is not being successful and then I will finish integrating it into the jacket itself. Then I will add the metal studs!



Social Body Project – Prox Sensor Test

Hilary Hayes 2011

Created by Hilary Hayes and Kate Hartman

Reads an analog input pin connected to the Sharp Proximity Sensor, prints

the results to the serial monitor.

The higher the value read from the input pin, the greater the rotation of the servo motor.


#include <Servo.h>  //includes all info in the universal servo library

Servo myservo;  // create servo object to control the servo(s)

int sensorValue; //includes the sensor

void setup() {


myservo.attach(9);  // attaches the servo(s) on pin 9 to the servo object


void loop() {

int sensorValue = analogRead(A0);  // sensor connected to analog 0

Serial.println(sensorValue, DEC);

if (sensorValue  < 315){ //if someone is close

//something should happen! AKA pop tha collar

digitalWrite(13, HIGH); // turn the board pin on

myservo.write(180);                  // sets the servo position according to the scaled value




//nothing happens AKA collar stays down

digitalWrite(13, LOW);

myservo.write(0);                  // sets the servo position according to the scaled value




Video of the functioning circuit: http://hil-are-i.tumblr.com/post/4596819969/badass-jacket-update-the-circuit-is-totally


Head Dress to Impress


Inspired by the ancient Indian, Russian and Japanese head dresses, as well as the modern interpretations of the subject I wanted to create a wedding Head Dress that would capture images throughout the day, allowing the wearer the freedom of enjoying the festivities. It gives the user an additional collection of memories, from their point of view.

Intended Scenario

As soon as the bride puts on the Head Dress the camera turns on and continues to capture images throughout the day at the interval of approximately 2.5  minutes. At the end of the day you might have anywhere from 240-400 photos (based on a ceremony+reception that would last anywhere from 10-16 hours)

Parts & Materials

To construct this I used:

1.3 megapixel digital camera Arduino decimale                                                                                                                            2N3906 PNP Transistor                                                                                                                                                  Protoshield                                                                                                                                                                                    Header Pins                                                                                                                                                                                          9v Battery                                                                                                                                                                                                1N4004 Rectifier Diode                                                                                                                                                        Miniature Slider Power Switch                                                                                                                                            Arduino Power Supply

…and a whole lot of feather, beads and things.

Related Works

There is a lot of work done in the sphere of wearable cameras. Best quality I’ve seen are videos done by GoPro which capture action footage of various sports like biking, snowboarding, long boarding or downhill skiing.



Coding is something I don’t understand and find extremely challenging. Especially when I can’t tell whether its not working because of code or a broken connection. I wanted to create a trigger circuit that would allow for timing intervals but encountered a lot of problems with making longer intervals.

This is the code I used:


I was happy with the weight and positioning of the device. As a wearable that is positioned on your head I wanted it to be as light as possible. However even though the finished project seemed heavier then what I would like it to be, it wasn’t too uncomfortable during use. I was also happy with the final design of the head dress.

Next Steps

Lighter                                                                                                                                                                                               Better resolution camera                                                                                                                                                                     More Interesting Head Dress Designs

Project Photos

final project: soft cyborg

soft cyborg

Title: soft cyborg
Concept: This mask was a continuation of my explorations from Wearable Technology 1 on how technology can be made more human and bring people back into their bodies as oppose to distracting from them. This mask was different from previous masks as it focused mostly on soft cyborg/human interaction. It was my intention to encourage the formation of a non-linear narrative between people and the soft cyborg.
The Intended Scenario: Ideally the soft cyborg would coexist in public spaces with people. Through its movements and interactions, the soft cyborg would encourage physical interactions to take place.
Parts & Materials: The base, eyelids, and nose are made out of handmade felt. The nose is made out of a combination of felt and conductive felt (made from a blend of merino and bronze wool). There are micro servos in the eyes and the circuit runs off of an Ardunio Pro Mini microcontroller and two 9V batteries. The conductive felt in the nose is connected to the circuit using conductive thread that has a crimp bead attached to it on the inside of the mask. The wires connected to the circuit also have crimp beads soldered to them. Everything is connected to the conductive felt pressure sensors with a little metal hoop so the circuit can easily be removed.
Related Works: This mask riffed off of my previous soft robot/cyborg masks. While I did look at other masks for inspiration, the final form emerged on its own.
Challenges: The biggest challenge with this project was refining the concept. The more I learn about the possibilities of incorporating technology with fibre constructions, the wilder my ideas become. I needed a lot of time to cull my initial idea down to something that was simple and doable. Working with conductive felt was a big challenge as well. My final use of the material was not as robust as I had intended it to be. Because the fibres moved around and in some cases felted more when touched repeatedly it was difficult to get consistent resistance readings. As such, the soft cyborg did not always respond when touched.
Successes: I was successful in creating a more refined form for the soft cyborg. I really find the extended nose to be a strong new development.
Next Steps: Next I need to work with making conductive felt a whole lot more. This includes trying to wet-felt conductive felt. Also, I would like to work with children to see how they respond to my masks. Beyond the technology part of this piece, I also intend to explore the potential for my actions/performance to contribute to the development of the soft cyborg’s persona.


code for soft cyborg (winter semester 2011)

#include “Servo.h”

Servo rightupper; // create servo object to control a servo
Servo rightlower; // a maximum of eight servo objects can be created
Servo leftupper; // create servo object to control a servo
Servo leftlower; // create servo object to control a servo

int pos = 0; // variable to store the servo position

int sensorPinTip = 0;     // force sensor is connected to analog pin 0
int sensorPinBridge = 1;     // force sensor is connected to analog pin 0
int sensorValueTip = 0;     // variable to store the value coming from the sensor
int sensorValueBridge = 0;     // variable to store the value coming from the sensor

void setup() {

rightupper.attach(5); // attaches the servo on pin 5 to the servo object (right eye / upper lid)
rightlower.attach(6); // attaches the servo on pin 6 to the servo object (right eye / lower lid)
leftupper.attach(11); // attaches the servo on pin 10 to the servo object (left eye / upper lid)
leftlower.attach(10); // attaches the servo on pin 11 to the servo object (left eye / lower lid)

Serial.begin(9600);  // initialize serial communication:

void loop() {

sensorValueTip = analogRead(sensorPinTip);
sensorValueBridge = analogRead(sensorPinBridge);
delay(100);     // delay for 1/10 of a second

if (sensorValueTip<130){ // if the value coming into the computer is less than 20

//normal blink cycle

rightupper.write(160); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is open
rightlower.write(130); //rightleft eye/lower lid position when eye is open
leftupper.write(20); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is open
leftlower.write(60); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is open


rightupper.write(20); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
rightlower.write(60); //right eye/lower lid position when eye is closed
leftupper.write(160); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
leftlower.write(130); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is closed


//closes eyes

rightupper.write(20); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
rightlower.write(60); //right eye/lower lid position when eye is closed
leftupper.write(160); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
leftlower.write(130); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is closed

if (sensorValueBridge<130){ // if the value coming into the computer is less than 20

//normal blink cycle

rightupper.write(160); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is open
rightlower.write(130); //rightleft eye/lower lid position when eye is open
leftupper.write(20); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is open
leftlower.write(60); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is open


rightupper.write(20); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
rightlower.write(60); //right eye/lower lid position when eye is closed
leftupper.write(160); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
leftlower.write(130); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is closed


//closes eyes

rightupper.write(20); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
rightlower.write(60); //right eye/lower lid position when eye is closed
leftupper.write(160); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
leftlower.write(130); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is closed



the base (with eyes marked)

trimmed servos (for a better fit)

eyelid armature

eyelid armatures attached to servos (wrapped in pipe cleaners for grip)

eyelids (felted onto armatures)

attaching the eyelids (pinned down to test range of motion)

conductive felt (detail)

attaching conductive thread to the conductive felt (negative and positive threads)

conductive felt pressure sensors (placement on nose)

covering up the conductive felt (wet-felted sheet of felt)

crimp bead soldered onto wire to connect to the conductive thread

wires connected to the conductive thread using a jewelry hoop


Final Project: Earthquake Skirt

The Earthquake Skirt is a skirt made of debris that rumbles and shakes with near-real-time seismological data.  Beneath the layers of debris are three vibrating motors, which have their intensity scaled to the magnitude of the occurring earthquakes.


At its core, this skirt is about compassion.  One is literally wearing and being reminded of someone’s trauma.  Its relevance to fashion is that like fashion fads, natural disasters pass by us –especially those of us who are geographically immune.  How quick we are to forget about the ongoing struggle of victims in Japan, Haiti, Chile, China, and other places that major earthquakes strike but of which we never learn.

I wanted to play with the idea of glamorizing disasters, of bringing disasters into the fashion world by creating a scenario in which a person wears the debris of someone’s life.  I see this paralleling the torture of animals in the name of fashion items (fur coats, boots made from the skin of exotic animals, etc.), and in this way the piece becomes a big cheeky.  “Are those your new seal skin boots?  They match perfectly with your Chilean 2010 earthquake dress!”.


In order to inform myself on the material process of the making the skirt, I had to do some research on debris from earthquakes.  I looked at many images from around the globe, ultimately deciding on a palette, materials, and shapes.  In addition, I researched other skirts that may have incorporated real-time data, but found only one: Nancy Paterson’s Stock Market Skirt.

A Study of Debris

The data is pulled from the United States Geological Survey website, which tracks seismological data from around the globe.

USGS website
Incoming Data via Processing



  • Arduino Uno
  • Vibrating motors with enclosures (foam, acrylic)
  • Transistors
  • Resistors
  • Terminals
  • Perf board
  • DC Jack
  • 6V 2A wallwort
  • Wire, solder


  • Misc. debris from gutted houses in downtown Toronto
  • Scrap metal from a scrap yard
  • Metal wire
  • Metal caging
Modified Motor – Body Attachment and Additional Vibration Offset

Circuit for Powering the Motors

Testing the Circuit

Building the frame

Continue reading Final Project: Earthquake Skirt

Space Boy 2000

We all have some form of relationship with technology, and that relationship has a past, a present, and a future. How we saw and interacted with technology when we were kids, how we use it today, and how it will influence us in the future. I wanted to meld these ideas together, in a fantastical and costume-esque wearable that incorporated current technology.

When thinking about my past, present, and future relationship with technology, and what devices I currently consider dear to me, the idea of turning my iPod touch (Optimus Prime) into a retro-future style computer armband was an exciting prospect. I have always loved the old science fiction ideas of the future, and jumped at the chance to turn one into reality. In researching for this project, I found myself more and more wanting something also reminiscent of childhood: that idea of technology almost more than technology itself. When I was kid, we had a non-functioning keypad mounted on the doorway next to our basement playroom. While the keypad did nothing, it was exciting to pretend one needed a security code to enter the room: and that was enough. The technology itself wasn’t needed or necessary. Growing up I was also borderline obsessed with Calvin & Hobbes, and Calvin’s alternate ego: Spaceman Spiff. The adventures you can take within your own imagination can be more exciting than where technology could take you.

As exciting as the prospect of owning/making my very own futuristic computer-band, it turned out to be very hard to actualise. The iPod is sleek and slippery, and trying to simply strap it down with material to the arm was not an option. I was fortunate enough to scout out some plastic snap cases, which were barely more bulk than the iPod itself. With both a drill press and a hand drill, I created a variety of small holes to be able to sew through. I made a solid leather wristband, with large button attachments, as a wearable prototype only (no technology). While the design of the wristband itself was solid and comfortable, after trying to work with leather for the future-computer wristband, I decided to change tact as the aesthetic was not quite what I wanted, and the attachments weren’t functioning as well as I’d hoped. Finding a great shiny silver stretch fabric helped not only with the attachment design problems, but worked well towards my retro-future aesthetic. I experimented with size and shape of the wristband and holder, and came to a good middle point: something that was nice and big and costume-esque, but not too bulky and heavy to actually wear. I gave it shape with carved foam, in between layers of the stretch material. After wearing/testing one of the prototypes, I added some extra elastic to prevent the wristband from sliding down the arm for the final product.

Finishing the wristband and wearing it for the first time was very exciting. Due to the materials used, it’s not very heavy or awkward on the arm, and becomes less apparent over time. I especially enjoyed dressing up for the critique, as the piece called for extravagant play, and that great call back to childhood and imagination. Since the critique, I have continued to wear it (minus the rest of the gear, sadly) and the response to it has been pretty great. A lot of “Cool!”s and “Did you make that?”s, which is always encouraging. While the responses to this current wristband have been positive, there is always room for improvement. Every model I have made so far has been better than the last, and I look forward to developing it further. I’d also like to make some for others, and see how they wear on different bodies and with different lives. If possible, I would like to return to working with leather, as well as explore other materials to create other aesthetics. Once form/structure is further tweaked, adding some “useless” LEDs to add to the aesthetic could also be taken into account. As for deviating away from the costume application, and creating something more marketable, I have no interest in that. I am much happier to find fun and creative ways to engage the imagination beyond the scope of what technology can provide.

Space Boy 2000, OUT.

Final Project – Electronic Armour

the electronic armour jacket

PROPOSAL: Create a fashion piece that incorporates the circuitry into the overall structure of the design, with a focus on embracing the electronics instead of hiding them.

DESIGN: My design uses black electrical wire to weave metal chains into fashionable ‘armour jewelry’, shoulder pads on a black blazer. The wire is an integral part of the structure, the electrical current runs through the entire piece before it completes the circuit and powers the LEDs.

the woven metal-and-wire shoulder pads

CIRCUITRY: My design uses a simple circuit composed of a battery, two LEDs and a magnetic switch. The battery and LEDs are mounted on the inside of the pads, while the magnetic switch is accessible on the side of the pad (closest to the neck.)

lit up

WHATS NEXT: Plans to take the design further include adding more LEDs, possibly in a distinct pattern, to make the shoulder pads stand out even more.

Chance Operations of the Body – beyond Cage and Cunningham


Through a link that Erin Lewis posted on this blog, I discovered the collaborative work of John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Cage was a composer and Cunningham a modern dance choreographer. These two artists created music and dance that broke away from traditional methods of composing and choreographing. Their innovation came from the I Ching, a form of divination based on chance operations. To simplify a rather complex process, they used the toss of a coin to determine what sound or body movement should come next in their compositions. What is interesting about their work is that the dancers would not hear the music that accompanied their dancing until the performance. It is this aspect of their work along with their composition methods that inspired this piece.

I wanted to use random numbers of serial data generated by the movements of a middle-eastern dancer to play sound. Although the dancers movements would initiate the sound, she would not be able to control or manipulate the sound or rhythm. I chose to work with middle-eastern dance and music because there are aspects of both that can be quite random and I thought they would fit well with this project. I also thought that using 21st century technology on a traditional dance form would contemporize it in a way that had never been done before.

I’m quite happy with the final results. I went beyond my initial proposal by using Processing as a tool for playing high quality recordings through high quality speakers rather than using speakers attached to the body of the dancer. I feel this created a more professional theatrical presentation. I used Bluetooth to form a wireless connection between the Arduino, which was attached to the dancer’s body, and the computer which was used to generate sound. This allowed the dancer to move freely unencumbered by wires. However, out of all the components required to make this project work, Bluetooth proved to be the most problematic. Some times it worked and sometimes it didn’t which played right into my concept of chance. At the end of this frustrating process, I realized that the Bluetooth device needed to be facing the computer to make its connection. Live and learn. My other major challenge was getting my head around the Processing programming language but both Erin and Kate helped with this.

The success of this project has inspired me to explore it further and I think I have found my thesis topic (finally). Denise Mireau, the dancer and owner/director of the Studio for Movement, is also happy with the project and is open to more collaborations as is Erin Lewis who has created a similar project based on visuals rather than sound.

Here is the bluetooth dance:

Here is the hard-wired dance:


I wanted to generate sound that was abstract but still referred to middle-eastern music – a deconstruction of it. To do this, I worked with the Aminor scale because it is melancholy like middle-eastern music. I also used instruments that are often used in middle-eastern music like the flute, violin and dumbek (middle-eastern drum). Using Garage Band, I created eight mp3 files, seven of the files represented one note of the Aminor scale. For the eighth file, I recorded one “doom” from my dumbek. These eight files were loaded into my processing sketch as a separate data file. Although the music comes from the random movements of the dancer, I did program silence when the dancer’s arms are relaxed at her side. In this way, the dance can have a beginning and an end.

Here’s my processing code:

import cc.arduino.*;
import processing.serial.*;
import ddf.minim.*;

AudioPlayer player;
Minim minim;
Arduino arduino;

int sensorPinX = 0;
int sensorPinY = 1;
int sensorPinZ = 2;
int xvalue;
int yvalue;
int zvalue;

String serialString;

void setup() {

arduino = new Arduino(this, Arduino.list()[2], 115200);
minim = new Minim(this);


void draw() {

xvalue = arduino.analogRead(sensorPinX);
yvalue = arduino.analogRead(sensorPinY);
zvalue = arduino.analogRead(sensorPinZ);

if (xvalue >=450 && xvalue <= 455){
player = minim.loadFile(“A of Aminor.mp3”, 2048); // play the file
else if(xvalue >=465 && xvalue <= 470){
player = minim.loadFile(“C of Aminor.mp3”, 2048); // play the file
else if (xvalue >=581 && xvalue <= 585){
player = minim.loadFile(“G# of Aminor.mp3”, 2048); // play the file
else if (xvalue >=575 && xvalue <= 580){
player = minim.loadFile(“E of A minor.mp3”, 2048); // play the file
else if (xvalue >=585 && xvalue <= 590){
player = minim.loadFile(“B of Aminor.mp3”, 2048); // play the file
else if (xvalue >=430 && xvalue <= 435){
player = minim.loadFile(“D of Aminor.mp3”, 2048); // play the file
else if (xvalue >=600 && xvalue <=800){
player = minim.loadFile(“Doom.mp3″, 2048); // play the file
print(” “);
print(” “);

void stop()
// always close Minim audio classes when you are done with them



The materials used to build the costume consisted of the following:

two bra cups
Black stretch fabric
Speaker wire
Black wire
Transparent thread
Black thread
Conductive Thread
Lilypad Arduino – Simple
Lithium rechargeable Battery 3.7v
Fabric Snaps

I chose to expose the electronic components of the costume by making them part of the overall aesthetic. I did this by using the speaker wire to ornament as well connect electrical components in the costume. The speaker wire looks great and was easy to work with because the two attached insulated wires meant there fewer strands of wire to deal with and they could be easily separated if need be. To make the costume simple to access, I used snaps to connect circuit wires from the shoulder to the accelerometer located on the outer part of a glove. For the most part this works well, but occasionally the snaps come undone. This could be because the snaps live on parts of the body that are continually moving. I may need to find a connector that is more robust. Here are some images of the circuit and the schematics.

Final Project – Symbolic Wearable

Title: Pitcher


This is a piece of jewelery that is created to make a statement on water contamination and water consumption. By wearing it on my neck and making it visible to my audience, I’m tried to convey the idea that it is a need that can not be neglected.  The glow in the middle on the pitched is to dive attention to the fact that the pitcher is empty.

Parts & Materials:

I created the pitcher with plaster on top of an existing drinking glass. I thread conductive thread through the plaster which I then attached to a battery holder on one end and an LED on the other end. I also used a leather string that helped wear the pitcher on my neck. It is a very light piece and can easy be worn on ones neck.

Related Work:

I received my inspiration from Kai Chan’s methods of jewelery making and creatively using natural materials.


I find myself successful in creating this but later I want to make this concept even better. There is much possibility to just this that further requires attention.

Next Step:

Next I want to get a bit more creative with incorporating some interesting technology within this wearable.


Please view youtube video that explains it further;



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