Speculative Wearable – Connecting Jacket (Weiqi Wu)

IDEATION

Idea One

idea1ring

Idea Two

idea3goggle

Idea Three (This is the one that I picked for the assignment)

idea2jacket


CONCEPT

The “Connecting Jacket” is a relationship detector that could indicate the relationship between people. And it helps people to create connections with others in the real world. The jacket uses several types of heat-sensitive fabrics that react to different temperature ranges, which display various colours when the temperature reaches the ranges. When people near a person that often contact, the microcontroller receives the signal from others, and it will control the temperature to a specific range, so the heat-sensitive fabric will reveal red colours. When people near a person that sometimes contact, the heat-sensitive fabric will reveal the yellow colour. When the fabric show green colour, it indicates that people meet someone that has contact information but did not contact for a while. This is design for everyone.


OBJECTIVE

The inspiration of the “Connecting Jacket” is trying to connect people together. During the pandemic, people start to lose the physical connection with friends or colleagues. Although people could meet each other online, it will not give me the sense of connecting in reality. I feel more disconnected from the world after the meeting. One of the problems is that while people are wearing face masks, it is not easy to recognize others on street. Therefore, the changing of the colours on the jacket could help people to find out that their friends are nearby. Being able to connect with others in real life are really necessary to fulfill social needs. Wearing a jacket and face mask, people could find their friends and communicate safely.


DESIGN

Location

The microcontroller, the signal sender, and the signal receiver will locate at the inner side of the jacket. The temperature-sensitive fabric will be sewed on the outer side of the jacket. There will be using conductive fabric to connect. The heating metal wire locates at the inner side of the temperature-sensitive fabric.

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The front side of the jacket

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The backside of the jacket (left); The inner of the jacket with the microcontroller and the conductive wire (right)

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The paper prototype jacket (on-people look)

How to activated

It will be activated by opening the microcontroller, the signal sender, and the signal receiver first. With the origin state, it should be the white colour of all the temperature-sensitive fabric. To change the colour of the fabric, people need to meet a person that has contact information. And the whole system will work and the heating metal wire will work. After the temperature reaches the range, the colour of the temperature-sensitive fabric will change.

Interaction and States

To have interaction with the jacket see the states of different situations, you have to wear it and meet people.

  • When you meet someone that you have the contact information, but you haven’t talked in a while, the heating metal wire will be heated to around 40 degrees, the first type of temperature-sensitive fabric will change the colours from white to green.

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  • When you meet someone that you have the contact information and sometimes communicate with, the heating metal will be heated to around 45 degrees, the second type of temperature-sensitive fabric will change the colours from white to yellow.

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  • When you meet someone that you always stay in contact with, the heating metal will be heated to around 50 degrees, the third type of temperature-sensitive fabric will change the colours from white to red.

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When it is rainy, due to safety reasons, the "Connecting Jacket" is not recommended to wear, since it has wires and a battery on the jacket.

Material mood board

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- Jacket
- Microcontroller
- Conductive Thread
- The non-conductive yarn for covering the conductive thread
- RGB LED lights (since I don't have temperature-sensitive fabric at home, I would like to use RGB LED light instead. Same situation with same status, only the fabric become the lights.)
- Resistor (220K)

TWO WORKS

  • Generra Hypercolor Shirt 
Hypercolor was a line of clothing, mainly T-shirts and shorts, that changed colour with heat.

Video of the Generra Hypercolour Shirts 1991

  • Body Electric
BODY ELECTRIC is a response to our growing dependence on information technology; the garments embody its omnipresent yet intangible nature.

A parallel is draw between the uniform in clothing and technology’s way of homogenizing and flattening. In order to reveal the intimate, the unique, we must look into the screen, through these windows.

The uniform pieces of the collection are inspired by classical workwear items, whose seams, pockets, collars, become the basis of incisions. This dissection of the uniform reveals the expressive self; a hand-embroidered electronic circuit: the fusion of human and computer anatomies.

This intimate garment reveals what hides beneath the skin. Veins and sinuous networks become visible through optic fibres and intricate hand-work. Heart sensors capture the body’s pulse and make it visible to the eye in waves of light, emanating from the embroidery.

Through a fusion of craft, handwork and technology, we are able to see the invisible, and bring to light a new dimension of expression.

BODY ELECTRIC [2016]

Reference

  • C. (2019). 1991 – Generra Hyper Color Shirts – Heat Makes It Happen … Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXgLR55tx3Y
  • Daguin, C. (2016). BODY ELECTRIC. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://www.claradaguin.com/bodyelectric

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