Bling Choker

title

PROJECT TITLE

Bling Choker – A neck-piece element to fashion at night.

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

This project is a functional wearable that was designed as an element that one could fashion on their body (as a neckpiece). The thought behind this was an exploration into the types of buttons that I could create by the combination of felting, conductive wire and conductive wool. The outcome led to permutations and combinations of 4 different buttons that were made using the above components. The buttons were connected to the capacitive terminals of the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express board. The board itself, being extremely functional was fun to work with. The Capacitive ends of the board were linked to different light combinations on the board. I created 5 NeoPixels patterns – 4 dynamic and 1 static so as to provide the user with options. The end product choker neckpiece is made using fabric and it can be fastened using metal snap buttons.

 

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

  • Intended User – Anybody who likes to fashion trendy jewellery or likes to experiment with bling jewellery items. This can be worn by anyone who likes to stand out in a party atmosphere with illuminated jewellery.
  • Intended application – The application of this choker neckpiece can be considered to be primarily on the lines of exploratory jewellery which can have practical usage in party situations. It is more like an add-on fashion element that is meant for people who like to stand out in a crowd.
  • Response mechanism – Felted buttons which are touch-based. Touching these would enable the response on the corresponding capacitive pin on the board. The responses are coloured light patterns along with sound affordance for certain buttons. So, it can be said to have a combination of light and sound responses.
  • Communication Protocol – For this particular project, I have tried out a new software called ‘MakeCode’. I began my initial experimentation with Arduino IDE using the Adafruit library. Then as I progressed with the patterns, MakeCode coding made more sense. MakeCode uses JavaScript, which is fed into the Adafruit board and that makes the board function. This particular project didn’t require any external communication protocol.
  • Body – The interface has touch based buttons that lies on a fabric strip. This is to be worn on the neck. This neckpiece is meant to set a relevant light interaction or combination of light interactions before entering the event area. It is intended for the interaction of the wearer only.
  • User – The textile interface senses actions of the wearer primarily. Though they can also be set by someone else for the wearer.
  • Material palette – This contains conductive wire and conductive wool which make the touch interaction possible.
  • Scale – The scale of the interface can be considered small. It is similar to choker necklaces worn by people. Touch is meant to activate it.
  • Mood / attitude / approach – The project is focussed to bring out the fun and bold element in people during night party events. This was more intended as an add-on jewellery for the neck. The interactions are sensitive and tender. They are receptive to touch. Although, they don’t interfere with other activities done by the user.
  • Switches – Capacitive sensors(touch-based) – 4 switches that take analog input via touch sensitive buttons.
  • Sensor data – Sensor data is mapped to touch. The capacitive touch sensors on pins A1, A2, A4 and A6 are meant to activate NeoPixels

 

DIAGRAM

 

diagram

 

VISUALS

Work in Progress

3

Making different felt buttons using conductive wire and conductive wool. All the 3 explorations are capacitive touch buttons.

 

2

After stitching the buttons, glueing their ends to avoid entangling of different conductive wires.

 

1

Attaching metal snaps in order to fasten the bling choker onto the neck. This is a simple snap button which is easy to open and close.

 

Final Images

img_1502

Felt buttons can be seen here that are connected toA1 and A2 terminals as shown above.

 

img_20200130_165751

Warm colour mode: Alternates between 2 warm colours to form a pattern with a white photon that keeps moving in one direction

 

 

 

img_1496

Cool colour mode: Alternates between 2 cool colours to form a pattern with a white photon that keeps moving in one direction

 

img_1497

Still Mode: This is a still colour mode which doesnt have any colour patterns forming.

 

7

Final product on the left and the materials used to make it.

 

8

Bling Choker Final Image

 

Video Links:

 

CODE

https://github.com/sanandadutta/blingchoker

 

PROJECT CONTEXT

This project is a wearable that can be considered as an exploration in fashioning elements on the body. The concept behind this came from a project done by Philips called the ‘Bubbelle dress’ (Weir, 2007). The inspiration to make a similar ensemble that was illuminated. The initial ideation began with a hand-based wearable that could be have conductive finger touch points and create similar light interactions. Angella Mackey’s wearable light is something that also gave shape to my idea of creating something that is easy to use and easy to wear (mackey, n.d.). Both these projects shaped the inclination of creating a wearable element that was more in the direction of a fashion ensemble that can used by people when they want to feel or look different from their normal ways. Another inspiring project in a similar domain was this dress created as Marlenes last dress by Forster Rohner (Forster Rohner Textile Innovations). The delicate weaving of the light board was something I wished to incorporate in my work. Close to what I had in mind was a piece of work by Maggie Orth who created a neck piece which got its power from conductive tassels brushing an embroidered power pane (Orth, 1998).

Apart from getting drawn into the process of felting, creating conductive felt buttons were something that were equally fascinating. In order to create these buttons, ‘creating sensor buttons’ by kobakant (How to Get what you want, n.d.) was another push in the direction of creating this project.

 

STEP-BY-STEP CREATION PROCESS

  1. Ideation of the project – which includes the brainstorming, checking relevant sources, creating project from derived context, finalizing the concept
  2. After the layout of the ensemble is finalized, the felt buttons were created on the fabric. 4 different felt buttons were created – Sparsely populated conductive wire button, densely populated conductive wire button, conductive wool and conductive wire combined in a button and conductive wire patch with conductive wool outline button.
  3. Connecting these buttons with different capacitive pins of the Adafruit board using conductive wires. This was done in a way that the connections do not overlap.
  4. Applying glue at the open ends of the connections so that conductive wires do not entangle with other conductive wire ends.
  5. Creating a back surface of fabric in order to close the wire trails so that they aren’t open once the ensemble is fastened on to the neck.
  6. Stitching the back fabric onto the main felt using regular thread and needle.
  7. Fastening metal snaps on the ends of the neck choker piece so that it can put on without the piece falling down.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Forster Rohner Textile Innovations. (n.d.). Retrieved from Marlenes Last Dress 2016: http://www.frti.ch/en/portfolio_page/marlenes-last-dress/

How to Get what you want. (n.d.). Retrieved from Sensors Crochet Button: https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=1927

mackey, a. (n.d.). https://www.angellamackey.com/. Retrieved from Vega wearable light: https://www.angellamackey.com/#/vega-wearable-light/

Orth, M. (1998). maggieorth.com. Retrieved from Firefly Dress and Necklace: http://www.maggieorth.com/art_Dress.html

Weir, J. (2007, Nov 2). CrunchWear.com. Retrieved from Bubelle Emotion Sensing Dress: https://crunchwear.com/bubelle-emotion-sensing-dress/

 

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