Assignment 2: Expressive Wearable — Nala Ren

Concept

Clutch is a small purse designed to act as a “real-life MSN status” (a term lovingly coined by my boyfriend), displaying three separate colours of LEDs that the user can switch between in order to convey their current mood. By design, green is meant to convey an openness or willingness to talk and socialize, yellow is intended to be “busy” or “talk later”, and red is supposed to mean “leave me alone”, or express when someone is not in the mood for a discussion. Four snap fasteners on the back of the purse set the colour of the LEDs, with the fourth being “neutral” (all lights off). 

I chose green, yellow, and red for the LEDs as they are more or less universally understood, being found in traffic lights, subway stations, and social media statuses. I had originally considered making a smiley face, frowny face, and sad face out of LEDs instead, but after asking my friends’ opinions, they all said that frowny or sad faces would prompt them to ask the wearer what was wrong, rather than the intended “stay away/don’t talk to me” message, so I chose a ring of light to more clearly convey the objective.

(Now I would like to interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post to show you a few photos of the final product, because I AM SO EXCITED)

Ta da!

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green-2yellow-2(Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming)

Objective

Many people, including myself, struggle with social communication and how to politely express our current mental status. Clutch is designed to be a simple, elegant way to inform those around you whether you’re down to talk (green), busy (yellow), or want to be left alone (red). I know the assignment was to choose one feeling, but I find I switch between these 3 states constantly, so I wanted to create something that could quickly and easily express the fluctuations in my mood. The gentle ring light also leaves the meaning slightly open to interpretation, which I think is a plus when communicating with strangers especially. I would never want to come off as aggressive or hostile, but neither do I want someone talking to me on the TTC or walking too close behind me at night.

Additionally (and this is just a personal vendetta), I absolutely despise most purses and handbags. This is the unfortunate result of my mother carrying a massive purse wherever she went when I was a child, and immediately getting tired of it and forcing me to hold it for her when we went out. To soothe my hatred of gigantic purses, I wanted to make something small and practical. It has a cross-body strap to protect your posture, and the purse itself is extremely lightweight, while still being able to hold my phone, wallet, keys, and the battery pack with room to spare. 

I also made it fluffy, because, y’know, it’s adorable. I also found that this furry fabric was the most effective for diffusing the LEDs, so it wasn’t a difficult choice. I was debating on whether I should name this purse the Puff ‘n’ Fluff, but I thought that was just a bit too much.

Process

Hold on tight friends, this is going to get a bit dense. So dense, in fact, that I had to create a separate Google Slides document for all of the process work (WordPress just can’t handle it). You can find it here.

In the meantime, here are just a few of the highlights!

Summoning a demon:pxl_20210209_000652989

All the circuits on the front of the bag sewn, moving onto construction:pxl_20210209_061912888

Made a small, removable drawer to protect the USB cord and allow it to be removed when necessary:pxl_20210209_191300632

Nearly done all internal construction:pxl_20210209_192615225

Covered in fur and ready to go:pxl_20210209_235328330

Please refer to the Google Slides for a much more in-depth explanation! There are also videos of the purse in action in the Google Slides.

Parts List

(This list only includes the parts used in the final purse, not products used during testing)

  • Circuit Playground Express
  • LEDs (Green, Yellow, Red)
  • Micro USB to USB Cord
  • Conductive Thread
  • Non-conductive Thread
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic Sheet
  • White Glue
  • Hot Glue
  • Snap Fasteners
  • Felt
  • Furry Fabric
  • Buttons
  • Metal Wire
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack

(More) Final Product Images

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And last but not least, my favorite photo of all time: me staring longingly at BBQ duck.
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Reflections & Next Steps

Overall, I’m extremely satisfied with the way this project panned out. This is the first piece of wearable tech I’ve ever made and I’m really proud of it – so much so that I put on makeup and a wig and forced myself and my boyfriend out into the freezing Canadian night in order to get good photos. I fully intend to use this as a real bag (it’s definitely durable enough), and I’m sure my knowledge and skills will only keep increasing from here on out! In terms of things I would have done differently, of course I would have liked to use more permanent materials, but I couldn’t really source faux leather or anything like that during COVID. Maybe once this is all over, I’ll re-make this same bag but more suitable for washing and dropping off of cliffs. During the process, I noticed that the yellow LEDs are consistently dimmer than the other two colours – they do show a lower voltage on the bag, so that’s probably the reason, but I hope to acquire yellow LEDs that are at least on par with the others. I also know that my code is very simple (it is literally ‘forever “digital write [relevant pin] to HIGH”’), and in the future I want to make things that incorporate much more complex and interesting code. I know there is so much I could do, so many settings to play with, and so many new things to experiment on, but I hope for now my extremely time-consuming circuit makes up for how basic the code is! Lastly, I was considering how much easier this project would be with a ring of LEDs where each LED changes colour, but I also think I gained something valuable from sewing that circuit (and isn’t it cute that the little dots move around when you change colours?)

Resources

The only resource I used to make this purse was the lectures. All of them. Several times each.

Prior, O. & Yoyo (2021). Basic Circuits & Circuit Demonstration [Online Lecture]. Retrieved from https://canvascloud.ocadu.ca/courses/1271/pages/basic-circuits-and-circuit-demonstration-~30-min?module_item_id=108562

Prior, O. & Yoyo (2021). MakeCode Introduction [Online Lecture]. Retrieved from https://canvascloud.ocadu.ca/courses/1271/pages/makecode-introduction-45-minutes?module_item_id=109475

Prior, O. & Yoyo (2021). Inputs & Outputs [Online Lecture]. Retrieved from https://canvascloud.ocadu.ca/courses/1271/pages/inputs-and-outputs-40-minutes?module_item_id=109472

Prior, O. & Yoyo (2021). Digital Switches & Buttons Overview [Online Lecture]. Retrieved from https://canvascloud.ocadu.ca/courses/1271/pages/digital-switches-and-buttons-overview-20-minutes?module_item_id=113950

Prior, O. & Yoyo (2021). Adding LEDs [Online Lecture]. Retrieved from https://canvascloud.ocadu.ca/courses/1271/pages/adding-leds-35-minutes?module_item_id=114426

Prior, O. & Yoyo (2021). Light Feedback & Diffusing LEDs [Online Lecture]. Retrieved from https://canvascloud.ocadu.ca/courses/1271/pages/light-feedback-and-diffusing-leds-25-min?module_item_id=113953

 

Expressive Wearable – Dancing Belt

Dancing Belt

My expressive wearable is a belt that detects the wearer’s dancing. Reinforcing the benefits of dancing for the human body, the belt measures continuous movements to determine that the wearer is dancing, and rewards them with positive sounds and neopixel lights. When the wearer is still, it encourages them to move with pressing sounds and lights.


Parts List

  • Circuit Playground Express
  • Linen pillowcase (any thick, white fabric would do)
  • Conductive thread
  • Non-conductive thread
  • 2 pieces of conductive fabric
  • Long piece of fabric (I used a pre-existing fabric belt)

Concept & Objective

Happiness + Motion = Dancing. My concept for this wearable was inspired by the experience of dancing with my friends pre-COVID. When we’re out together (as an introvert and someone who’s quite shy), I sometimes forget to just enjoy the moment, have fun, and dance with my friends. This led me to imagining a wearable that would encourage me to, essentially, be happy and have fun!

Therefore, my final concept is a belt that detects the wearer’s ‘dancing’ and encourages continous movement when they are still. With this concept, I aim to promote happiness, movement, and fun for the wearer and to suggest the mental and physical benefits of dance.


Process

1. Brainstorming: I kicked off my brainstorming with a similar exercise to what we did for our Speculative Wearable assignment: by listing various emotions, then the everyday items that we wear. After this, I (initially) decided to create a dance-detecting skirt. (More on this later)

img_61152. Research: Next, I conducted some online research about dancing as a healthy form of movement! 

According to Danceworks, it’s pretty ‘impossible’ to dance and stay in a bad mood, because the act of dancing itself is an exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which reduces the perception of pain and increases positive self-image in our brains. Therefore, dancing makes us happy. According to Greatist, these are some other benefits of dance:

  • Improves agility and flexibility
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Improves muscle tone and strength
  • Maintains and builds bone strength
  • Aids in weight loss or maintenance
  • Improves memory and cognition
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Provides an opportunity to socialize
  • Boosts self-esteem
  • Is easily adaptable to meet your needs

    3. Initial Interaction Flow:
     After deciding on my idea, I created a flow map that helped me understand the inputs, outputs, and the overall function of my wearable better.

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4. Initial Sketches: Then I made some quick sketches! Here are the initial drawings I created based on my original skirt idea. I intended it to have LEDs sewed along the top that would light up with movement.
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5. Idea Shift: After some initial reflection and planning, I decided to change the direction of my project to be a belt instead of a skirt. This would allow for more ease of wearing (rather than having to put on the same skirt each time they go out dancing, the user can wear a belt with anything, anytime) and more inclusivity (it can be worn by anyone who wears pants, skirts, trousers, and more).

6. Inspiration Photos & Initial Sketches: After deciding on a belt, I gathered some inspiration photos to decide how/where to place my CPX. In the end, I decided to place it in the center as it would allow for the most secure hold – and the wearer would be able to see the neopixels easily.

slide-16_9-77. New Sketches & Flow: As outlined in my sketches below, the switch of the belt is activated by putting the belt on. Looping the end of the belt through the belt buckle would make the conductive fabric on opposite sides of the belt touch, activating the switch. (Please zoom in to see the detailed steps regarding input / output and what happens while the wearer is using the wearable.)

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8. Circuit Diagram: I created a circuit diagram of how I’ll be sewing the conductive thread (the dotted lines) to connect A1 and GND to the conductive fabric pieces.

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9. Putting everything together: I’m terrible at executing hands-on projects, so I spent a lot of time testing out how exactly I should make my wearable. This is the pre-existing fabric belt I used for this project — it was too long for my waist as it was originally a coat belt, so I cut the end of it to fit.

img_5971I fastened the belt around my pants and held the CPX at the center, trying to figure out how to sew everything together. Then, I tried placing different types of white fabric on top to see how the neopixels would be diffused. I also determined that the cord of the CPX would loop around the side of my waist (see below).

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With the belt around my waist, drawing black lines with a pen helped me determine where to place the conductive fabric so that they align perfectly when I buckle the belt.

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Before sewing the conductive fabric on, I tested the alignment of the pen lines by taping on some pieces of non-conductive fabric.

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Once I was happy with the placement, I cut out the conductive fabric to fit on the belt, and sewed them on.

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Then I placed my CPX in the center, and cut out a small slit on the side to pull my cord through. This would hide the cord underneath my belt, but leave a gap to have it ‘poke out’ to connect to my CPX.

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Next, I sewed conductive thread through both A1 and GND, and continued it down each sides of the belt. One sewing ‘path’ connected A1 to one piece of conductive fabric, and the other connected GND to the other piece of conductive fabric. It’s not pictured here, but to stabilize the CPX a bit more, I also looped non-conductive, regular thread through another hole in the CPX and sewed it through the belt. Here is how I tested whether the switch was working: Alligator Clip Test

Lastly, to cover up my conductive thread and CPX (and to make the belt a bit less flimsy), I wrapped a cut-out piece of linen pillowcase around the fabric and secured it, leaving only the belt buckle and conductive fabric exposed. The pillowcase was thick enough to make the belt more secure, but transparent enough to let the neopixels show through.

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10. Makecode: Of course, I was simultaenously working on the code for my wearable. After many iterations, this is my final code.

  • The wearable’s switch is activated by A1. If the switch is turned on, the neopixels are set at red. At start, it plays the sound ‘power up’.
  • If the wearer is still for 1000 ms, the wearable plays the sound ‘wawawaa’, telling them to move.
  • On each shake, the neopixels on one side turn green one by one, playing the sound ‘ba ding’ until it reaches 5 shakes. This indicates a series of movements that add up to ‘dancing’. At this point, the wearable plays the rainbow animation with the sound ‘magic wand’.
  • In each of these steps, if the wearer stops moving, the ‘wawawaa’ sound will play.

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Final Images & Videos

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Here is a video of how the switch of the belt is activated. (P.S while I was fastening my belt, the conductive fabrics started touching and the wearable detected that I wasn’t moving — hence the ‘wawawaa’ sound playing while I’m still adjusting) Video 1

Here is a video of how the belt tells me to start moving, and how each shake leads up to the ‘continuous dance’ indication. Video 2


Reflections & Next Steps

If I had more time and resources, I would have wanted to use a different material for my wearable. The fabric of the belt was quite flimsy as mentioned before, and I suspect that it might have contributed to some slight glitches that appeared in my switch once in a while. Maybe the conductive thread wasn’t sewed tightly enough, or it got loosened because of the soft material! I would also like to program a way of detecting music as well, if I had the chance to revisit this project.


Resources & Related Works

Eckelkamp, S. (2020, November 20). Why Dancing Is Amazing for You Even If You Suck. Retrieved from https://greatist.com/health/benefits-of-dance

Kohler, C. (2019, September 11). 7 reasons why dance makes you feel so good! Retrieved from https://www.danceworksdenville.com/single-post/2019/09/11/6-reasons-why-dance-makes-you-feel-so-good

UserGuest. (2019, February 17). Introducing WELT belt: A Smart Wearable for Health-care. Retrieved from https://www.techbeamers.com/introducing-welt-belt-a-smart-wearable-for-health-care/

 

 

Assignment 2: Expressive Wearable – Tears

Concept & Objective – The idea was to create a hat that ether alone or in public can represent sadness or tears. While at the same time creating an aesthetically pleasing look that in darkness can simulate flashing tears across someones face. One blue light blinks and stops then a second LED blinks as if a tear was moving downwards.

Process – I started by drawing the circuit on paper and then creating it on its own using wires and a basic switch and creating the code for two lights blinking after another.

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I then began sewing with regular thread to secure the fabric hanging off the hat that is meant to hold the LEDS. Then began sewing with the conductive thread.

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Then used blue tissue paper to mach the LEDS and encase them, but it also helps with the effect. Then used a large piece of conductive fabric in another hat to encase everything and complete the circuit when pressed against.

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Final Images

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Final Video: https://youtu.be/5qYeKwCnyW4

Parts List:

  • Circuit Playground Express
  • Conductive Thread
  • Regular thread
  • 2 Clothes Pins
  • Conductive Fabric
  • 2 resistors
  • 2 LEDS
  • 2 Tuques
  • Tissue Paper

Reflection – The sewing was the hardest part. I had to restart twice because of conductive thread being to loose and connecting with another line of conductive thread and parts just falling off because it was hard to secure them properly. I also found great use of of mapping the circuit out with the normal wires and following that as I sewed and constantly checking with the real wires connecting them when I only had some of the parts sewn in and just checking with a wire before I used thread to make sure each step there wasn’t a mistake.

Resources & Related Works:

Arduino Lesson 2. LEDs. (2012, November 29). Adafruit Learning System. https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-arduino-lesson-2-leds/blinking-the-led

Contributor, F. (2015, July 30). Fashionable therapy brightens winter SADness | Fashioning Tech. fashioningtech. https://fashioningtech.com/2015/07/30/fashionable-therapy-brightens-winter-sadness/

Assignment 2: Expressive Wearable – Mood Displayer

Parts List

  • Circuit Playground Express
  • Felt
  • Conductive Thread
  • Thread
  •  Two red LEDs
  • Two 220 Ω Resistors
  • Two Tich Buttons

Concept & Objective

The concept for this wearable is to display if someone wants to be approached or left alone. The wearable is meant to be worn as an armband that is lit at all times when on the wearer. It will display either a green smiling face or a red frown which is changed with the digital switch. The idea was inspired to help people with depression and/or anxiety to display what they are feeling and if they are comfortable with being approached. The smile allowing others to approach and the frown to ask others to stay away. If one displays the smile (with the switch on the right side) but feels uneasy at the approach of certain people they can tap on the red “X” and it will display the frowning face for 5 seconds. Similarly, if the switch is on the left, it will display the frown and change to the smiling face for only 5 seconds when the red “X” is tapped.

Concept Sketch 

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Process

To begin, I used the digital switch that I created when following the digital switch workshop to experiment and find the best way to apply my LED’s for the frowning face. As the circuit is circular I could display the smiling face with just the LEDs on the Playground Express itself, the only additional LEDs I needed were for the red eyes. First, I experimented with a series circuit on an Arduino breadboard so I did not need to sew anything on the fabric. When attempting this I noticed that two LEDs became bright and the others were a lot dimmer. This is pictured below.

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After using the Arduino, I went back to my trialled switch and had sewn a single LED and resistor to the CPX on another pin. As this method worked I decided to attempt a parallel circuit for my lights as parallel circuits evenly distribute the same amount of power to each LED. The full process is shown below, including my sketch of the final circuit and how it turned out.

Trial Circuits:

1 LED

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2 LEDs with Resistors

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Final circuit sketch:

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Final circuit:

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While working on the trial circuit I also started experimenting with the different ways I could encase the code in MakeCode. I trialled using functions with if statements that were called with another if statement, I also attempted using the buttons on the Playground express to control if the smile or frown would be ‘permanent’. With these methods the lights started to blink alternately without any command from the switch so decided to use the if statement with several conditionals to control the lights of the circuit playground express. Along with the if statement I created three basic functions, two of them were to show the face and the last one was to contain the pauses and wipe animations. These functions controlled only which lights were on and no other setting, in doing this it decreased the size of my “forever” function and was easier to maintain. The end result is if the switch is on the right, then the circuit will automatically show the smile and the opposite for when it’s on the left. Some other fun features I added to the lights is that when the digital switch is activated it will first play the colour wipe animation provided in MakeCode that wipes the lights with either blue or grey and then shows the face that is meant to be shown.

Final Version of Code screenshot-2021-02-12-003557

Video demo of wearable being worn!

Reflection

In high school, I only learned the theoretical parts of circuits and so being able to recall the information that I once learned in the past and to be able to apply it to something I make is a lovely feeling. During this assignment, I realized I spend too much time playing around with the code on MakeCode instead of actually trying to establish a good circuit foundation for the code to run on. I learned how important it is to draft and redraft the circuit design before actually sewing anything down so that it won’t cause any problems later on. In the future, I hope to incorporate the different functionalities of the circuit playground express and also try and see how far I can take a parallel circuit using the board. I would love to experiment and see how many LED’s can the circuit playground take in a parallel circuit.

Resources 

The only resource that was used within this project was a link to understand the amount of voltage each coloured LED takes as the Circuit Playground Express has an output of only 3.3 V.

Crowell, Gary. “The Forward Voltages of Different LEDs.” CircuitBread, 2 May 2019, www.circuitbread.com/ee-faq/the-forward-voltages-of-different-leds.

Assignment 2: Expressive Wearable – Angelina Do (#3182746)

CONCEPT & OBJECTIVE

The idea for this wearable is to create a bag to prevent theft and give the wearer peace of mind when walking about in street.  When the straps of the bag are pulled apart by a thief, the bag begins to flash red lights and a loud siren begins to alarm. This wearable is meant to express the emotion of fear as it is common for one to be anxious when carrying around large amounts of money or important valuables. This wearable is inspired by a recent event that took place in San Jose, California. “According to KTVU, a 64-year-old grandmother had left the bank with more than $1,000 in cash for Lunar New Year. As she got in her car parked at a Vietnamese market, another car came and blocked her way. The suspects opened the door to her car, grabbed her purse and fled (Smith, 2021).” There has been a spike in Anti-Asian hate crimes targeting older Asians in the news recently, and it truly hits home to me as I fear for my own family’s safety at times. This theft prevention tote is made to help these citizens especially around Lunar New Year and bring attention to the victim to prevent the robbery from proceeding.

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 PROCESS

I first started sketching the circuit for my wearable. At first, I was going to add an LED to my circuit, but I decided that for the function, adding a small LED would not create any additional impact on the bag’s overall red glow.

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I then started to test my circuit’s functionality using the CPX and alligator clips.  I attached a metal snap to the positive alligator clip and the other to the negative alligator clip to ensure the same result would be reflected when sewing the snaps onto the tote.

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After ensuring the circuit was functioning with the alligator clips, I began creating the tote bag from scrap fabric I had lying around the house. I measured the dimensions of the tote onto pink fleece and created the base of the bag. I then created straps using a raspberry coloured fabric to create the practical tote bag.

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After the tote bag was constructed, I began to sew my CPX onto a white piece of felt and started sewing my circuit using the conductive thread. I ensured that a clasp was connected in series to either A3 or GND. I then powered the CPX with a power bank to ensure the circuit was still functioning!

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The final step was adding decorative elements like the trim around the bag with the excess raspberry fabric. I also sketched out an outline of a rose on a panel and added the hand embroidered element to the front. I made sure to position the head of the flower in front of the CPX to diffuse the light to give the illusion of a glowing rose. The prototype is now finished and ready to perform!

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FINAL PROJECT IMAGES

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*IN ACT OF ROBBERY*

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Link to video demo!

PARTS LIST

  • Circuit Playground Express + Power Adaptor
  • Conductive Thread
  • Metal Snaps
  • Scrap Fabric
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Sewing Needle
  • Non-Conductive Fabric (Felt)

REFLECTION & NEXT STEPS

Overall, I am pretty proud of myself that I was able to create a functioning wearable! I like the overall aesthetic of it and everything that I had planned to do ended up following through. If I were to revisit this project, I would want to improve the stitching of my conductive thread. It was a little loose at some points which could impact the circuit at some point. This project helped me solidify my understanding of switches and how to properly program a “reverse” switch. I learned the functionality of the If/else block code and how this changes the circuit from closed to open. Additionally, I learned how valuable just 15 minutes of office hours truly is! In the future, I would hope to add additional LEDs to challenge myself further.

REFERENCES

Smith, A. (2021, February 05). Asian community FEELS targeted by Crime ahead of Lunar New Year celebrations. Retrieved February 11, 2021, from https://www.ktvu.com/news/asian-community-feels-targeted-by-crime-ahead-of-lunar-new-year-celebrations

Assignment 2 – Expressive Wearables

Parts List

  • Circuit Playground Express
  • Conductive thread
  • 2 LED
  • Cotton
  • 2 resistors
  • Non conductive fabric
  • 4 small pieces of conductive fabric

Concept + Objective

The idea or concept for this wearable, is to have it glow when activated manually and is meant for dark spaces. The mood that the wearer will have is either feeling spontaneous (like at a party) or fear/cautiousness at night. The idea was inspired by safety vests that helps drivers see bikers or walkers at night. Safety vests, however, aren’t an ideal choice in fashion, and recently I’ve noticed that head bandanas/scarfs have increased in popularity so I decided to play on that idea. The main purpose of this wearable is to reassure the anxiousness in both drivers and people who need to go out on walks at night. People who go out walking are especially vulnerable and so when they are worried when crossing the road that a car might hit them, they just need to switch the lights on to let others know where they are.

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Process

So I began with experimenting how many lightbulbs I could do in series and at first, I couldn’t light up any of my light bulbs at all when I used two LEDs. I realized that it was because my circuit didn’t have enough Volts to have both of them, even without a resistor (the circuit had 3.3V while the blue LED needed 3-3.2V) and I used the orange ones (which I had planned on using for the final product) instead. In the following video, I recorded a video of the lightbulbs and you can see one flashing more obviously than the second one.

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And then I compared it to if I just attach one light bulb instead, which is much brighter and more visible. I had to consider that I would be diffusing it and that this was supposed to be seen from far away, so I decided to attach only one LED. In the video below, the light on the left is the singular LED compared to the one on the right(isn’t very visible), which is from the image above. The green light is just a part of the circuit playground express.9b8b7f72-b5c8-4383-bd92-aa8895836d0d

I then planned out my circuit and used crocodile clips to map out the physical one.

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code

I sewed the switch so that one end was secured onto the fabric and the other is loose. That way the switch is only activated when I fold the scarf and the cloths touch one another. Another thing I did was using the built in buttons (A and B) to activate the Neopixels on the circuit for extra light. Below I attached some photos, I couldn’t upload videos for some reason so I just took some screenshots of the video and uploaded them as photos.

When I press Button A once, it lights up until I press Button B

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Image of when the switch isn’t activated, Button A isn’t pressed

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Switch activated (see next photo to see just the LED)

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Final Product

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Reflection

This is actually my first time sewing something. I’ve learnt how to sew six years ago but truth to be told, I don’t remember anything whish is also why my circuit was so messed up and why it didn’t work several times. I think that using LED was a lot harder than it was to use Neopixels and it took me three days to realize that button A and B only worked on the Neopixels and not on external LEDs. I also learned how valuable sketching on the fabric beforehand is and how much I underestimated the distance I needed for each parts. Going forward I would like to incoporate more LEDs and experiment with parallel circuits.

References

“Night Light.”Adafruit, https://makecode.adafruit.com/#.

Rembor, Kattini. “Buttons.” Learn.adafruit.com,  https://learn.adafruit.com/circuitpython-made-easy-on-circuit-playground-express/buttons

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

Assignment 1: Speculative Wearable – PALCHO

Exploration

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Following along with the ideation activity, I made some simple sketches. The goal of these sketches was to come up with ideas that would be exciting to me or inspire me to investigate further. I challenged myself to consider different inputs and outputs, referencing some of the technologies discussed in the intro lecture. The idea that stood out to me was sparked by the prompts poncho, lonely, and write. I was particularly attracted to the idea of a poncho one would use to feel less lonely, so I expanded upon that concept.

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Concept

Working off of the idea of loneliness, I thought if would work well for a poncho (a big cozy loose garment) to be a piece of clothing that brings comfort. Building off of some of my previous ideations of clothing that glows or changes how it looks based on a certain variable, I thought it would be interesting for that variable to not be related to the wearer, but another wearer (similar to the CuteCircuit hug shirt). How the poncho works, is it would detect the wearer’s current emotion and then send that emotion to the connected poncho. The connected person’s poncho would then light up in a pattern displaying the other person’s sent emotion.

The tech this idea is based on is not entirely new. The hood would have a camera activated by button in the seam. When the button is pressed while the hood is up, the camera takes a picture of the wearer’s face, analyses it using AI, and then sends the chosen emotion to the connected poncho through the internet (this would probably be done by connecting it to a phone). The connected person’s poncho would receive the data on a separate circuit, with acts as the on switch for the LEDs, lighting up in a pattern representing the “pal’s” emotional state. This would stay on for a fixed period of time or until a new emotion is sent.

Objective

Clothing and fashion is a form self expression. Though it has functional elements (keeping oneself warm, public decency, etc.), what clothing one chooses and how they mix and match pieces makes a statement about the person wearing them. I want to expand that expression beyond just the person wearing the clothing to allowing someone they care about to express through their clothing. It would bring the person you choose as your “pal,” whether they be friend, family, or lover, into the lime light. It also would help to close the distance between to people that want to know about how the other is doing. It would be a way to prompt conversation or planing to get together between the two people. And circling back to the idea of loneliness, the poncho would be a way to feel less alone, to feel connected to and directly affected by another living breathing person that you care about.

Sketch

poncho

Prototype

Camera trigger switch, owl decal in default “on” state.

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Emotion displayed in order of appearance: happy, mad, sad.

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Material Mood Board

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Similar Works

Glow, A. (2018, November 2). Google AIY robot companion. Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers. Retrieved January 24, 2021, from https://makezine.com/projects/google-aiy-robot-companion/

Hug it out, from a thousand miles away - CNN Video

CUTECIRCUIT. (2020, November 23). The HugShirt. Retrieved January 24, 2021, from https://cutecircuit.com/hugshirt/

Speculative Wearable-Victoria Bissell-“Rave Helmet Face Mask”

I designed a custom-molded, full-face mask covered in different coloured LEDs that blink faster or slower depending on the heart rate of the wearer. The front of the piece, the face mask, is thermoplastic, and the back&collar are one piece of highly elastic knit fabric; the mask can just be pulled over the head like a hat.

maskoutline

Unfortunately I couldn’t think of a good way to represent fabric in a paper prototype.

sidepaper

quarterpaper

frontpaper

This piece is a fashion item designed for a speculated future in which present-day novelty/statement items have become daily wear. Rather than design a consumer electronic that happens to be worn on the body, I wanted my wearable to be the garment itself.

My objective was to create a completely new article of clothing, which could only exist in a future where wearable electronics are normalized. I also wanted to make something that’s just fun; my goal with all my projects is to entertain people. Finally, this piece is an excuse to use the radiation face mask from my cancer treatment; ever since they gave it to me at the end, I wanted to make it into some kind of wearable.

The interaction is between the speed and intensity of the “light show,” and the heart rate of the wearer. The mask has an on/off button, and the heart rate is divided into 3 ranges which each have their own output. So, the appearance of the wearable matches the pace of the wearer’s activity; for example, if you’re just riding the bus, the lights change colour slowly; if you’re dancing or at a party, they change colour and blink very fast.

Materials mood board:

moodfront moodside

Sketches and documentation:

sketchmask1 sketchmask2

armatureside armaturefront

two exisiting items that resemble my piece are those light-up sneakers kids wore in the 90s, and a fencing mask.

Fencing. (2021, January 24). Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fencing#Equipment

Light Up LED Shoes | Official Brand Bright LED Shoes. (2020) https://brightledshoes.com/

Assignment 1 – Speculative Wearable – Octavian Gherghe

Concept:

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The wearable I thought about for this project is a headband that is worn to soothe headaches and similar pains. It is relatively simple with two routes for tackling the problem of head pain: a massaging mode that targets two pressure points on the head (the Third Eye and Drilling Bamboo) that are known to alleviate headaches and eye strain; and a second method of diffusing essential oils like lavender oil and peppermint oil. The headband is to be kept simple because it’s not aiming to be a cure-all, more of just an aid for headaches, similar to Advil.

I was thinking of pairing the device with a smartphone / desktop app that would let you control the wearable, as well as offer other remedies and information for headaches that can’t be achieved through the device – like suggested exercise and sleep schedules, water intake, foods / drinks to avoid (like alcohol or meals high in histamine) but I’m not sure how complicated I want it to be, since it’s hard to really nail down an exact science when it comes to curing headaches. I also don’t know anything when it comes to neuroscience, biology, or why body make head hurty.

Objective:

Personally I’ve always struggled with headaches, when I was younger and more so during high school. I really don’t enjoy them and always struggled to get rid of them when they came around. Nowadays I get them when I spend too much time inside or staring at a screen. I also asked my mom for her opinion and she agreed that headaches are a pain (aha) to deal with when working on a computer all day.

I wanted to make a small health-aid that made use of common / accessible remedies without getting too complicated, accessible at convenience stores or drugstores for anyone to grab and use. Originally I also wanted to have a third mode that simulated a cold compress on the user’s head but:

A) it’s really complicated to create a device capable of cooling itself like that, and the alternative to tape a fridge to your head isn’t very useful….                 B) its a lot simpler to just use an actual cold compress! So I cut that out entirely and kept it simple.

I thought about two main designs, one would be a more sleek headband that looks athletic, it would only be bulky in the front where the most electronics would be located: the oil diffuser and the 3 massaging knobs, and there could be several buttons to turn the device on / off and to choose what function of the device you want to use. The second design was closer to a winter head warmer, where it was larger and fully covered the back of the head. I thought about making it a hat at first, but a lot of the material was unused and it would be a waste in my opinion. Similar to the headband, the meat of the wearable would be at the front, but a control panel could be placed on either side of the head to -again- turn it on and off.

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(the quality for this is really bad and I don’t know how to change that so you can look at it closer on this imgur link:  https://imgur.com/a/VgYkBwl )

Mood Board: 

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Related works:

  1. PeryTong Sleep Headphones – This idea was what I was aiming to create in terms of looks and wearability.

PeryTong Bluetooth Headphones. (n.d.). Retrieved January 18, 2021, from https://www.amazon.ca/Sleep-Headphones-Perytong-Ultra-Thin-Meditation/dp/B07SHBQY7Z/ref=asc_df_B07SHBQY7Z/?tag=googleshopc0c-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=389969793254&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2731883748321814330&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9000786&hvtargid=pla-782477182467&psc=1

2. Muse 2 headband – I looked at this for aesthetics and a similar idea in a band that aids a body problem. In this case I was comparing headaches to meditation but I was looking at the design and not the science.

Muse 2: Brain Sensing Headband. (n.d.). Retrieved January 18, 2021, from https://choosemuse.com/muse-2/