Assignment 2: Expressive Wearable – Imra Ali (3187224)


The “Do Not Disturb Armband” helps you to stay productive without being disturbed by external sources. The wearable is wrapped around your bicep and is controlled by a snap button. When the person is free, the embedded lights animate into a rainbow. When the person is busy, the embedded lights animate into red flashes. The busy mode is activated by attaching the snap button. The free mode is activated when the snap button is detached. When wearing this device, the approaching person can easily tell whether they are free or busy. Based on what light is on, the person will instantly know what actions to take. The wearables should be worn in the direction of oncoming traffic.


COVID has changed everyone’s life. Following government protocols mean staying at home as much as possible. People are not used to being around their housemates 24/7. It is hard to focus when there are so many people around you. The simple question of “Are you busy?” easily distracts a person. A person may feel guilty by saying no or begin to wonder what is wrong. This led me to the conclusion of building the “Do Not Disturb Armband”. I believe the bicep area is the perfect place to wear this device. The flashing light is right below the person’s head so the approaching person cannot miss it. I believe the colors I chose perfectly match the different modes. There is a universal understanding that rainbows deliver a welcoming feeling while red flashes deliver a stay away feeling. At the end of the day, when a person stays focus they can finish their task quickly while simultaneously not procrastinating from distractions.


Before beginning to build my wearable, I sketched out the prototype.


Once I was confident with my prototyping sketch, I collected materials.


After, I begin coding the different modes. In my coding process, I preferred creating functions because I could easily organize and change the variables. There were many rounds of iterations and testing before ending up on this code.


When sewing the CPX and snap button I was extremely careful the conductive thread did not touch each other. Continuously checked with conductive fabric that the circuit was working.

a2-diagramimplem a2-outsidecircuit


Final Product

a2-imbusy a2-imfree

Reflections & Next Steps

Overall, I am extremely proud of what I created. The continuous trial and error allowed me to push through, learn, and innovate. The experimental process on the Make Code platform allowed me to understand the software side of e-textile.

Originally, I wanted to add a siren sound if someone talked while the individual was busy. I decided not to implement this idea because it would distract the individual wearing the armband. 

My next step for this project would be to play around with the lighting. I would add a screen that can be customized by writing the specific task being done. Also, I would love to play around with the placement of the wearable. I could make it a clip so it is accessible and can be used anywhere on the body. 


Cummins, E. (2020, July 15). Shirking from home. Retrieved from

Powers, J. (2020, August 07). Dealing with distraction during the covid-19 pandemic. Retrieved from

Related Works

Apple Inc. (2021, January 05). Use do not disturb on your iphone, ipad, and ipod touch. Retrieved from

The Samsung Group. (n.d.). Use silent modes on your Samsung smart watch. Retrieved from

Transfusion Media. (2020, November 22). StayFocusd. Retrieved from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *