Initially, when I was thinking about the concept of an expressive wearable, it was very late at night, and I was exhausted. That’s when it struck me, what if I had a wearable that was able to help someone stay awake while they worked late. I was not sure if fatigue was an emotion however after one Google search the bots at Google reassured me that it is! Introducing, the one, the only, Keep Your Ass Awake Hat or! Wait! Let me explain before you judge me. It is a hat that you can wear while you study/work that will sound off an alarm if it detects your head drop lower than a 45-degree angle. Think of it as a friend who is constantly trying to keep your ass awake so you can ace your exam. I am aware that some students might not be sitting up straight when they study they could be lying down or slouching however, with a simple change in the make-code the product can be used in whatever position you find comfortable.
My objective from this point on was to create an expressive wearable that looks like a regular article of clothing but also helps you stay awake. I took inspiration from different products that serve a dual purpose like ear muffs that are headphones, hoodies double as safety vests or even Snapchat’s sunglasses that double as a camera (weird).
This is the concept that I started with. Simply, if you’re awake the CPX will do nothing but once your head drops the alarm will go off. To start things off, I started with this very simple concept drawing detailing the two stages the product will have and the circuit diagram to make it work.
I then built the program in make code. The program works by actively sensing where the CPX face is facing. When the CPX is faced downwards the LEDs on the CPX face will turn red and it will turn on a buzzer. If it is in any other state the CPX will be displaying a neutral white.
- Medical tape
- Conductive Thread
- 220Ω resistor
- CPX micro-controller
- Micro USB cable
- Old Beanie
- Conductive Fabric
- Mini Dc Buzzer
I started creating the actual circuit by combining the CPX, DC buzzer and resistor using conductive fabric, conductive thread, and medical tape.
Reflection + Next steps
Looking back at the whole process of making this product there are a few things that I would change. Firstly, when I was wearing the hat I could feel the CPX unit and buzzer as it was quite tight. I would fix this by spreading the different parts of the circuit more evenly. Secondly, I would want to try to add more buzzers however, the more buzzers I put the more faulty the connection was. Also, it would have been advantageous to have some sort of vibration motor so that there would be a physical simulation, as well as an audible one. I feel that after the entire process I have learned a lot. I spent 4 hours experimenting and troubleshooting different variations of code, and then I spent another 2 learning how to sew. As this is my first time making a wearable product it took me longer than expected but in the end, I feel I am in a good position to explore further and create different products similar to this one. Ex. A nightcap/eye mask that doubles as an alarm clock, a baby hat that plays music when the infant cries, a workout sweatband that vibrates and dings to let you know when you’re rest is over.
Resources + Related work
Pendrill , Katherine. “Player-Connected Rugby Jerseys.” TrendHunter.com, TREND HUNTER Inc., 2 July 2015, www.trendhunter.com/trends/rugby-jerseys.
Hemsworth, Michael. “Gesture-Control Denim Jackets.” TrendHunter.com, TREND HUNTER Inc., 23 May 2016, www.trendhunter.com/trends/connected-jacket.
McQuarrie, Laura. “Text Messaging Hoodies.” TrendHunter.com, TREND HUNTER Inc., 9 Oct. 2014, www.trendhunter.com/trends/smart-hoodie.