Concussion Helmet

Concussions have become an epidemic in minor hockey in Canada and the United States.

“Twenty-five per cent of junior hockey players on two unnamed teams suffered concussions last year, according to an Ontario study looking at brain injuries.

The report comes after independent physicians followed the two junior clubs during the 2009-10 regular season, where they observed 17 players suffer a total of 21 concussions in 52 games.”

The helmets that are on the market now are to prevent subdural and epidural hematomas, blind eyes, and lacerations but not concussions.

One of the major problems occurs when a player takes or receives a big hit and may receive a minor concussion. The player doesn’t loose consciousness but may feel minor symptoms such as dizziness, “seeing stars”, reduced playing ability, and slurred speech. This can become a major problem when the player returns to the ice or continues to play in this state, as the may it they’re lesser form be hit again more violently causing a major concussion. The player’s decision to return to the ice is almost always based social pressures to “continue to play”. Coaches and players who do not have to proper knowledge or training pressure the ill player to continue as if normal unknowingly that the player is ill. The affected individuals in these scenarios who are in an ill state are incapable of making the correct decision.

The goal of this project is to remove the social pressures that are embedded in the sport and promote concussion awareness.

The concussion helmet is designed with sensors that measure the impact that the head has taken. The helmet works the same way the brain rattles inside of the skull when a concussion occurs. As the skull rattles inside of the helmet the sensors send data to a computer inside the helmet. It the force is great enough an actuator (LED) lights up to signify to the player’s social surroundings. When the player returns to the bench they may be looked over by a coach or trainer or medical staff. If a severe play occurs and the red light is activated on the helmet play may stop and the play would leave the ice for medical treatment.

With further research, better technology and a growth in awareness a helmet like this could become part of the standardized safety equipment in hockey. If an idea or product like this were to be standardized it would raise social awareness worldwide.

This prototype I used; a retired Bauer Hockey helmet, 6 LEDs, 1 force sensor (homemade: conductive fabric, velostat), 2 AAA Batteries, 1 Lilypad Arduino, Wire.

Retired Bauer Helmet

Workstation + materials from above.

Circuit Diagram.

The code I used:

Social Body:
Wearable Technology 2 (GDES 3B44)
Michael Vaughan – Winter 2011
Code taken and modified from:
Sensor Project
Wearable Technology 1 (GDES 3B16)
Kate Hartman – Fall 2010
int ledPinA = 7;           // LED is connected to digital pin 7
int ledPinB = 8;           // LED is connected to digital pin 8
int ledPinC = 9;           // LED is connected to digital pin 9
int sensorPin = 0;         // Stretch sensor is connected to analog pin 0
int sensorValue;           // variable to store the value coming from the sensor
/*long previousMillis = 0;        // will store last time LED was updated
// the follow variables is a long because the time, measured in miliseconds,
// will quickly become a bigger number than can be stored in an int.
long interval = 100;           // interval at which to blink (milliseconds)*/
void setup()
pinMode(ledPinA, OUTPUT);   // sets the ledPin to be an output
pinMode(ledPinB, OUTPUT);   // sets the ledPin to be an output
pinMode(ledPinC, OUTPUT);   // sets the ledPin to be an output
Serial.begin(9600);           //initialize the serial port
void loop()   // run over and over again
sensorValue = analogRead(sensorPin);   // read the value from the sensor
Serial.print(”                     Sensor Value: “);
delay(100);   // delay for 1/10 of a second*/
/*unsigned long currentMillis = millis();
if(currentMillis – previousMillis > interval) {
// save the last time you blinked the LED
previousMillis = currentMillis;  */
{if(sensorValue>900){ //You can change the number here to adjust the threshold.
digitalWrite(ledPinC, HIGH); //Turn LED on
if(sensorValue>700){ //You can change the number here to adjust the threshold.
digitalWrite(ledPinB, HIGH); //Turn LED on
if(sensorValue>500){ //You can change the number here to adjust the threshold.
digitalWrite(ledPinA, HIGH); //Turn LED 7 on
delay(5000);   // delay for 10 seconds*/
digitalWrite(ledPinA, LOW); //Turn LED off
digitalWrite(ledPinB, LOW); //Turn LED off
digitalWrite(ledPinC, LOW); //Turn LED off
Interior Final

Exterior Final

In relation to the Social Body Project.


Dress for Stress: Wearable technology and the social body – Susan ELizabeth Ryan


Solar Bikini

* a Bikini that charges your MP3 using the Sun.

Intimacy Black: Hide and Show

* Showing the relationshiop between intimacy, technologie and the social body.

Twins, Shyness, and Family

Living Pod

By Ying Gao with Simon Laroche, Anne-Marie Durand-Laflamme, and Isabelle Giroux

Living Pod is a pair of pneumatic pump controlled interactive nylon coats that represent fraternal twins. While the two garments appear to be identical, Garment B mimics the reactions of Garment A external influences.

If the wearer of Garment A Begins a conversation with a third party, the front of Garment A is transformed by burst of air within the coat.  A few moments later, Garment B replicated Garment A’s reaction, yet the wearer of Garment B and those around the wearer of Garment B may be unaware of what is causing the structural changed in Garment B or why they are occurring.

Barking Mad

By Suzi Webster with Jordan Benwick

Designed to help shy people deal with the stresses of urban overcrowding, the Barking Mad jacket has embedded proximity sensors which detect how close others are to the wearer.  The jacket respons to personal space infringements by playing back through embedded flat speakers, the sounds of dogs barking.  If the stranger is relatively far away, the barking with be that of a small poodle.  However, if the intruder remains and gets closer, the barking will become louder and will eventually sound like a rottweiler.


By Jayne Wallace

Blossom is a custom made and hand worn jewelry piece which is symbolic of the relationship between the owner (Ana) who lives in London and her family in Cyprus.  The flower stays in London with Ana but is remotely connected to a rain sensor which has been planted on Ana’s family land in Cyprus.  Once the sensor registers a predetermined amount of rain, the flower will open and remind Ana of her family and her home.

Social Wearable Examples

Social Networking While you Sleep

1. Shoes that generate electricity when you walk.

2. A sleeping cap that transmits your dreams

3. A shirt that serves as a touch-sensitive input device.

NOTE: These aren’t actual products, but concept prototypes by artist Alex Dodge.

Social Wearable Projects

Here are a few interesting projects that use wearable technology to mediate social interactions:

Pong Prom, by Edward Keeble (2009)

In Edward Keeble’s Pong Prom, two users wearing technology-enabled hoodies play a game of Pong by slow-dancing with eachother.  The whimsical and physically intimate ‘entry requirements‘ into the experience (the slow-dance), coupled with the game of LED pong that is simultaneously collaborative and competitive, culminates in a meaningful experience that is socially connective. Pong Prom “creates a framework which allows participants to connect, both physically and virtually, and determine the course and quality of the interaction on their own.”

Pong Prom employs a Lilypad Arduino to control all aspects of the gameplay, using patches of conductive fabric on the shoulders, hips, and cuffs of the hoodies to trigger the game. Data from an accelerometer mounted on the neck of the hoodie is used as a game paddle/ joystick (making it necessary for the user to rock their partner back and forth while playing).

Massage Me
By Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson

In Massage Me, a wearable vest, embedded with touch sensors, is used as a video game interface that is activated by a second user’s massaging hands, turning “video game player’s excess energy into a back massage for an innocent bystander”. Like Pong Prom, Massage Me makes it  necessary for the two users to enter into a more physically intimate  interaction, in order to trigger the experience.

Soft switches are embedded into the back of the vest, and signals from these switches are analyzed to create control signals which are sent to a hacked Playstation controller.

Co-Dependent Gloves
By Fiona Carswell

Co-Dependent Gloves consists of two pairs of winter gloves
embedded with heating elements, which warm up only when
two wearers‘ fingers are interlocked. While modern winter clothing
has made warming during cold weather a very independent activity,
this project evokes a more primal warming strategy — sharing of
body heat.

When wearers interlock their fingers to hold hands, an electronic
soft circuit is completed, activating heat panels within the gloves.
I like the subtle choice of using fingerless gloves for this project,
which necessitates skin contact while performing the interaction.

Social Wearables


8-bit Dynamic Life Shirt

For alllllll the lovers out there.  Proximity sensor shirts display full hearts when within “hugging” distance, and lower with increased distance.

insert appropriate emotional response here.


Constellation Dresses

A group of three separate dresses, that when connected with snaps, combine to create various “constellations” with LEDs.

*note: probably can been seen better in the dark (like most constellations)


North Paw

An anklet to be worn under clothing, to improve internal sense of direction.  Eight vibrating motors spaced around the ankle, and only the motor corresponding with pointing north vibrates.

never be lost in this crazy world of ours again.

Social Bodies

1. Wearable Pet

“Ref” is a wearable pet which is worn on the wrist and helps you become aware of your emotional state by sensing your heartbeat and mirroring your state of excitement through its non-verbal communication. For example, when you are stressed, Ref will raise its head and tail. Then as soon as you relax Ref will curl up its tail and lower its head again. The idea is that by literally objectifying your emotions Ref coaches you regain control instead of being ruled by your emotions.

2. Social Skin Emotional Accessories

Skin+Bone is a necklace that chokes you when your stress levels go up. When the necklace curls around your neck action is required. By pulling the necklace away from you can release the tension in your body and breath deeply in order to calm both yourself and the necklace. The necklace works with a heart rate sensor that is worn on the chest and galvanic skin response sensor that sense your general activeness (active vs. passive) and your level of stress (steady vs. arrhythmic heartbeat).

The first two pieces in the video are prototypes, the third is the final necklace.
3. Pseudo-Morphosis Dress That Paints Itself

Pseudomorphs is a system that let’s dresses paint themselves. Following Intimacy, Dutch haute-tech designerAnouk Wipprecht continues her work on the theme of transformation, this time using the sensual properties of moving liquids. A Pseudomorph dress, when in the making, consists of two parts. The first, a fashionable virginal white dress made of thick felt. The second, an electronic accessory made from repurposed medical equipment, custom designed electronics and a sculpted neck brace. When the two are put together the tubes, which are led to the top of the dress, are filled with an ink which trickles down the dress finding it’s way by pure chance, and so in the process creating a unique piece every time.
Also by Anouk is the amazing Fragillis Collection
The two pieces interact when in proximity to each other.

SMOKs and Secrets and Sorrys, Oh My!



Things are important to help us remember. Maybe old things can be given a new voice through soft technology?

These SMOKs use thermocromatic ink that fades after the interaction between Other and garment has taken place. The brief description of the project given by xs labs states that SMOKs register visual, physical, and aural memory. Apparently we are not the only ones to be thinking about the aura…

Secret Keeping Gloves

Sometimes socializing is difficult. Maybe we are heartbroken. Or lonely. Or living on the top of a mountain. Being social beings, even the most reserved among us feel the need to reach out; we have secrets we want to share.

Secret Keeper Gloves

The Secret Keeper Gloves are the brainchild of Meg Grant. The wearer tells the secret to the gloves (i.e. into cupped hands) and can hear the secret played back when a fist is made. Maybe there could be a way for two wearers to exchange secrets by shaking hands. Social bodies are interesting but so are anti-social bodies…

Secret Keeper Gloves circuit

What is really interesting about Meg’s work is that she drew her circuits for this project right on her body.

The Apology Helmet

This project of Meg Grant spring-boarded off of the idea that computers help us perform difficult tasks that we do not enjoy doing. Unfortunately, computers leave us hanging when it comes to more challenging tasks that involve communication. The Apology Helmet is worn by the person who wants to apologize. The apology soundbite is activated when the wearer is moving his/her jaw fast enough (there is a chin strap that senses the movement of the jaw). The wearer can choose 4 levels of remorse and has the added benefit of looking ridiculous–an almost foolproof way to ensure his/her apology is accepted!

Apology Helmet


Three socially charged wearables

Intimate Memory Shirt

This garment, created by XS Labs, is designed to store memories of intimate communication with others. For example, if you are wearing the garment and your significant other whispers in your ear, led lights in the garment will be activated. This intimate communication and any other communication, will be stored in the garment for future playback. For more information click here.

The UbER-Badge

This Badge, was designed by the Responsive Environments Group at the MIT media Lab. It has a variety functions that allow multiple users/wearers to communicate with one another; for example, viral message passing, location of individuals, analysis of social networking and formation of affinity groups. This device would work well in a large room where a number of people are gathered for example at a conference. Click here for more information.

Spotty Dress

Another project by XS Labs, these dresses have an irregular pattern of spots printed on them with thermochromic inks. “Physical intimacy makes your spots blend into your skin, it erases your camouflage patterns. You become nude, revealed”. For more information click here.

Social Projects

***This is a recent edit, Feb 3rd 2010***
Scientists to bring piezoelectrics and rubber together to form flexible, wearable energy harvester

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