Hello: The Social Distance Greetings by Trish

‘Social Distance’ has become the new buzz word of the decade not being able to hug, shake hands or even stand too close. For this prototype I have tried to redefine how people can say hello to each other in interesting ways borrowing ideas from the Black Panther movie and the pandemic greetings.

1.The Wakanda Hello

Interactive GIF



The Wakanda Hello is a pair of gloves that uses conductive materials to light an LED to signal that someone is gesturing hello. This prototype is a body gesture of one crossing hands on the chest, it has two coins attached to a pair of gym gloves that when they come into contact an LED lights up.

As we have changed the way in which we now say hello due to the pandemic the Wakanda Hello makes for a fun way for people to greet each other. The connection is simple and straightforward and could also be an interesting way to say hello to people even over video calls.

Materials and Parts
Gym Gloves
Double Sided Tape
Alligator Clips
Full Size Breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IoT
Jumper Wires
LilyPad Tri-Color LED
USB cable


This prototype was quite interesting to work on, some of the challenges I faced was finding materials I could work with but managed to improvise with what I have. As a future iteration I would hope to make the connection less bulky and with less wires which would get tangled up during testing, as well as add different light modes to indicate someone’s mood. Some of the things that worked was the gesture was quite seamless and the idea of using coins as the conductive material was fun to work with.

Detail Images

img_9471 img_9472img_6103 img_6104 img_6105 img_6108

Circuit Diagram


2.The Elbow Hello

Interactive GIF



The elbow greeting has become the new normal in an effort to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. The Elbow Hello is a prototype I made using a pair of old socks for the stretch material, its worn just below the elbow and has a social switch. I used aluminum foil as the conductive material that lights up an LED when someone’s elbow bumps with someone else to complete the circuit.

Materials and Parts
Masking Tape
Double Sided Tape
Alligator Clips
Full Size Breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IoT
Jumper Wires
White LEDs
USB cable
Aluminum foil  


This prototype was a bit difficult to work with especially when making the prototype it required some improvisation with materials and alot of try and error. The finishing wasn’t very clean but it worked well in terms of interactivity, I would like to further explore a less bulky iteration with no wires hanging loosely.

Detail Images 

img_9404 img_9399img_6113 img_6117

Circuit Diagram


3.The Mask Hello

Interactive GIF



For this third prototype I used a mask as it has now become a part of our daily outfits whenever we go outside. The idea for this was to have LEDs create a smiley face at the front of someone’s mask to signal a hello when the LEDs light up. I made a button switch in between the masks lining using felt and aluminum foil so when the two pads of the button come into contact the LEDs light up.

Materials and Parts
Masking Tape
Surgical Mask
Double Sided Tape
Alligator Clips
Full Size Breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IoT
Jumper Wires
Green LEDs
USB cable
Aluminum foil  


Some of the challenges I face in this prototype was figuring out what would be the best connection for the switch, initially I had thought of a contact switch but the design didn’t quite work out when it came to execution. The second challenge I faced especially not having conductive thread was connecting the LEDs but I managed to improvise with a conductive wire. Overall the prototype came out well and it was a great learning experience seeing what worked and what needed to be improved.

Detail Images 

img_9428 img_9424img_6123 img_6124 img_6121 img_6127

Circuit Diagram


Code hosted on Github


Speedy Recovery by Nishu



Project Description:

While we can never account for injuries, we are always prepared with solutions and remedies to heal ourselves in case of one. We often get injured when we push the limits of our bodies and when we do, the only responsibility of ours is to follow protocol and give me the injury time to heal. Being an athlete my whole life, I have been physically injured one to many times. But there seemed to be a pattern to my injuries as they kept reappearing at the same spots time and again. So I wondered why this happens?

During my final project in my undergraduate programme, research pointed out that these injuries often reoccur in places where the rehabilitation process has not carried out completely and properly. In the case of my sprains, I often wore a crepe bandage to limit movement to my injury and stop it from aggravating. But in such situations during the rehabilitation period, I was unaware of how much I should or should move. This resulted in the healing process to be incomplete, leading to future injuries.  

So my intervention is called Speedy Recovery. A motion based product that helps guide you during your recovery. The crepe bandage or in this case the arm sling, is fitted with a red and green LED which is programmed to light up based on the right and wrong posture. Every time your arm moves out of the range it should be moving, the red LED blinks, guiding you back to the right posture. While you are in the right posture the green LED stays on. This helps strictly implement body control during your injuries and carry out your healing process properly.

The two things considered while designing this were movement sensing as the product needed to be applicable to any physical injury that would need to restrict movement. And the second element contingent on its success was visible feedback, so the person could visually be guided back to the right posture.

As this product specifically is motion oriented, what I learnt a lot through this process was the ability to seamlessly introduce a piece of technology on the body without any obstruction. The second thing I learnt was to identify parts of the body based on the kind of data that needed to be fed into the product,


Parts & Materials:


  1. Arduino Nano 33 IOT
  2. Red LED
  3. Green LED
  4. USB charger
  5. Breadboard
  6. Jumper wires


  1. Arm sling
  2. Sewing thread and needle
  3. Black cloth band


Prototype images:

1 2 3 4


Demo video:



Detail Images:

1 2 3 4 5


Circuit Diagram:



Arduino Code:



Project context:

While the use of wearable technology for healthcare purposes is rapidly growing. I have chosen to draw inspiration from designs that intervene at early stages of a problem or even act as a preventive measure. Speedy recovery is an effort to completely rehabilitate an injury in its first recovery process in order to avoid future injuries. Similarly the designs I have referenced follow a similar trend.

The first one is an example for something that is beautiful. The Ouro ring is a wearable technology that helps measure and track body temperature, heart rate and the quality of sleep. Their underlying philosophy is that good sleep is the magic ingredient to living a healthy life. Every night while you sleep your body performs what they call “health miracles” sending out waves of signals through the body. This could be from improving your memory to producing cancer killing T cells. What Oura does, is decode these signals and communicate how your body prepares itself for the next day. Through this interpretation it provides insights you need to take on the next day. By masking such advice through an aesthetically beautiful ring, it has created an opportunity for people to care more about their sleep and prevent future health conditions.

In the second category of useful wearable technologies I was inspired by a wearable sweat sensor that informs athletes on water or electrolyte loss. This product is currently being developed by a team at Northwestern University and they believe that even though sweat contains salts, sugars, hormones and other valuable data. Very little research has gone into harnessing this data to measure bodily conditions. The patch contains fine tiny pores on its underside that allows the sweat to penetrate the device. Each holes contains a different sweat analysis technology. The patch bears similarities to a bandage and is just 1.5inches in diameter and can be worn on any part of the body. With changes in water or electrolyte levels, the patch changes its colour. By just taking a picture of the patch on the app connected to it, the app tells the athlete the exact amount of water they should be having. This prevents athletes from over-hydrating developing hyponatremia(condition of swelling of cells due to diluted salt levels) and also dehydration leading to many other physical conditions. 

For the third category the product is extremely useful but based on its aesthetics and placement I consider the design to be terrible. It is a self powered knee sensor that could allow doctors to remotely monitor a patients recovery. While the product has multiple pros, the reason I categorize this to be bad design is because the product sits on top of the brace that the patient needs to wear post surgery. As the knee is already an extruding part of the body, even more while sitting. There is a possibility for the sensor to be knocked off  or even damaged if the patient’s knee were to come in contact with any surface. The positives of this product are that it is constantly collecting data and conveying it to the physician or physiotherapist and it is powered by electricity generated when bent or twisted. This is beneficial as the product needs no replacement of batteries and always stays on.



Reference 1: Beautiful

The Oura ring: https://ouraring.com/

Reference 2: Useful

Jack Carfagno. “Wearable Sweat-Sensor Informs Athletes of Water and Electrolyte Loss” https://www.docwirenews.com/docwire-pick/future-of-medicine-picks/wearable-sweat-sensor-informs-athletes-of-water-and-electrolyte-loss/

Reference 3: Important but terrible

Enaie Azambuja. “Flexible self-powered knee sensor for rehab monitoring.https://www.electronicspecifier.com/products/test-and-measurement/flexible-self-powered-knee-sensor-for-rehab-monitoring


Traffic Control Wristband



Traffic Control is a very necessary but difficult job, especially due to the harsh weather conditions, anywhere in the world. Lack of integrated lighting systems and heavy gears add on to the professional hazard for traffic controllers everyday. While reflective clothing is very effective in such circumstances, an additional lighting mechanism could improve their signalling and visibility to vehicles on the road. Designing an integrated wrist accessory for easy traffic control was the initial concept behind conceiving this project.

The wearable is a simple wristband with 2 finger attachments. The wristband holds the LEDs, which can change patterns depending upon the signal the controller wants to display. Currently, the wearer can only display 2 signals – ‘Blink’ (Stop) and ‘Direction’. The device has an auto turn on/off. It functions only in the absence of sunlight, hence conserving energy.

The device runs on Arduino Nano 33 iot. A touch sensor and photo resistor are also added to the circuit. The touch sensor help detect the wearer’s haptics, and change the lighting patterns accordingly. The photo resistor which sits right on top of the wristband, helps detect the sunlight, allowing the device to turn on/off without any physical stimuli.

While the idea was to design a product which could be extremely lightweight and sleek, integrating well with the wearer’s uniform, currently the primary prototype is bulky and wired. More research and development will be required to make a more compact version of the device so that it could be easily worn everyday.

Experience Video

Idea and Process






Link To Code



The primary idea behind the project came from a small road trip to the outskirts of my city. While travelling back home, at night, the traffic controllers  in the crossings wielded red and green traffic control batons. Hence, I thought of integrating the lights onto the arm through a small LED lit wristband that would not involve holding an added accessory for long hours.

After coming up with an initial concept I decided to do some research on wrist wearables so that I could find some inspirations to carry out my project.

  • FingerTrack – useful

The first project that seemed very interesting was ‘FingerTrack’. It was developed by researchers from Cornell and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. They designed a wrist-mounted device that continuously tracks the entire human hand in 3D. The bracelet, called FingerTrak, can sense and translate the many positions of the human hand, including 20 finger joint positions, using three or four miniature, low-resolution thermal cameras that read contours on the wrist. The researchers added that the device could be used in sign language translation, virtual reality, mobile health, human-robot interaction and other areas. I find that the finger tracking technology could be really useful for my idea of developing the ‘Traffic Control Wristband’ without the use of touch sensors.

• MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory)

A project with a really interesting aesthetic appeal is the MICA. Developed by Intel, MICA has transitioned from the very androgynous aesthetic of ‘Fitbits’ and ‘Apple Watches’ to that of a High Fashion ‘feminine jewellery’.

•  Guardian Angel

Another example of a brilliant project with a little problematic aesthetic is ‘Guardian Angel’. This necklace has been designed by the agency – JWT Singapore. The concept for this product is very interesting and useful. A single click on the jewellery automatically triggers a call to a woman’s cell phone, so she has a convenient excuse to walk away from unwanted attention at public places. If things change from annoying to dangerous, holding down the button sends an emergency message to a friend with the victim’s exact GPS coordinates. Now, although usefulness of the device is no doubt really well thought out, the aesthetics of the jewellery makes it look like a silver insect. Also, there are mobile apps that enable the user to do fake calls to excuse themselves out of problematic situations.



I look forward to work further on this device and develop it into a more compact and user friendly wearable.


The Cut. “Can Opening Ceremony Make Wearable Tech Cool?” Accessed February 2, 2021. https://www.thecut.com/2014/11/can-opening-ceremony-make-wearable-tech-cool.html.

Cornell, Information Science. FingerTrak – a Wrist-Mounted Device That Continuously Tracks the Entire Human Hand in 3D, 2020. https://vimeo.com/440359313.

Hu, Fang, Peng He, Songlin Xu, Yin Li, and Cheng Zhang. “FingerTrak: Continuous 3D Hand Pose Tracking by Deep Learning Hand Silhouettes Captured by Miniature Thermal Cameras on Wrist.” Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies 4, no. 2 (June 15, 2020): 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1145/3397306.

Lee, Sid. Intel & Opening Ceremony | MICA Launch, 2014. https://vimeo.com/108266159.

“MIT: Wearable Tech: New Wristband Device Can Detect Emotions in Real Time – The Economic Times.” Accessed February 2, 2021. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/wearable-tech-new-wristband-device-can-detect-emotions-in-real-time/articleshow/58803657.cms?from=mdr.


Ergonomic Monitors by Grace Yuan


As an Interior Designer who has spent a lot of time working with furniture and space, I have a deep understanding of the ergonomic measurements of human bodies and how our bodies interact with the environment. Therefore I built the following three ergonomic monitors to help the user keep up a good ergonomic habit, stay healthy and work efficiently. All of the three prototypes are Body/Environmental Switches that are activated by the interactions between the user’s body and their environment, using LED lights as indicators.

The inspiration also comes from my real working experience. When I used to sit in the office for the entire day, my colleagues and I always reminded each other to correct the postures every time we walked past by each other’s desk. Posture is so important and also so easy to be forgotten. I hope this prototype I made can be further developed into a real product that can help computer users to stay away from any physical pains caused by the wrong posture.

1.Sitting Posture Monitor – Back

Demo GIF


full video: https://youtu.be/T3oyveVMJ-g


Sitting Posture Monitor – Back is an ergonomic reminder that helps the user to correct their posture when sitting at a task chair. No matter it’s at home or in an office, keeping a good sitting posture is always important. There are many cases of computer users getting back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain because of the wrong posture. Leaning against the chair back is a significant part of the correct sitting posture. By doing so, the user released the weight to the chair and gained the support of the back and the lower back. It also keeps the user’s head straight and up, preventing the user from getting neck pain. 

This device is a straightforward indicator of whether the user is leaning on the back of the chair. It is a Body/Environmental Switch that is triggered by the interaction between the user’s shoulder/back and their chair. When the user’s shoulder or upper back touches the top of the chair back, releasing pressure on the device sensor switch, the red light turned off. When the user is not leaning against the back of the chair, which means there is no pressure on the switch, the red LED light turns on, reminding the user to adjust their sitting posture. The switch is made of conductive copper tapes and aluminum foil, wrapped with acrylic felt. The felt is in a grey color which blends in with the grey mesh material of the back of the chair perfectly.

Materials and Parts

Acrylic felt
Copper tapes
Velcro tapes
Regular threads
Aligator Clips
Half breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IOT
Extension jumper wires
Red LED light
USB cable
Aluminum foil  

Detailed Photos
img_1494 img_1499 img_1505img_1562

Currently, the circuits and wires are all exposed which becomes a tripping hazard. For future iteration, I would solder the wires to the Arduino, and hide the wires inside the mesh back of the chair. For a more advanced application, the switch can be built in a way that is completely integrated into the chair, and the LED light will be recessed on the tip of the armrest.

2.Sitting Posture Monitor – Legs

Demo GIF



Sitting Posture Monitor – Legs is an ergonomic reminder that helps the user to correct their leg posture when sitting in a chair. The concept is similar to the last prototype, to monitor the user’s movement and warn them once a bad posture is detected.

From a personal perspective, I often find myself sitting with my legs crossed. This is actually a bad habit because such a position usually promotes a bad posture and can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. With this leg position, it is difficult to sit up straight.

The monitor device is a strap to wear around the user’s thigh. As soon as the user crosses their legs, the other leg puts pressure on the one leg wearing the device, the device will be activated. A red LED light will turn on to remind the user of their leg posture.

Materials and Parts

Acrylic felt
Copper tapes
Velcro tapes
Regular threads
Aligator Clips
Half breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IOT
Extension jumper wires
Red LED light
USB cable
Aluminum foil

Detailed Photos

img_1540 img_1554


The device is a bit too large right now. It may be too much work for the user to wear this device. For the next iteration, I would minimize the scale and improve the design to be more flexible and portable. Another potential improvement will be the pairing the device. Based on common experience, one person would cross their legs both ways – the left leg on the top or the right leg on the top. It’s necessary to consider making the device into a pair for both legs, so the user’s leg movements will be fully detected.

3.Wrist Rest Monitor

Demo GIF



Wrist Rest Monitor is an ergonomic device that reminds mouse users to place their wrist against the surface while providing cushion to reduce the wrist fatigue. Wrist rest pads are known for reducing existing wrist pain and help prevent the user from developing Carpal Tunnel.

It is a Body/Environmental Switch that is triggered by the interaction between the user’s wrist and the wrist rest. When the user’s wrist is leaning against the wrist rest, releasing pressure on the device sensor switch, the red light turned off. When the user’s wrist is not leaning against the wrist rest, which means there is no pressure on the switch, the red LED light turns on, reminding the user to relax their wrist.

Materials and Parts

Acrylic felt
Copper tapes
Velcro tapes
Regular threads
Aligator Clips
Half breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IOT
Extension jumper wires
Red LED light
USB cable
Conductive threads
Aluminum foil

Detailed Photos

img_1513 img_1519 img_1520 img_1521


Alligator clips are used to power the device. For future iteration, I would solder the wires to the Arduino, hide the wires inside the wrist rest, power the circuit with a coin cell, and fill the wrist rest with more cotton for cushioning.

Arduino Code 

The first and the third prototypes:


The second prototype:


Circuit Diagram For All Three Prototypes


Emote Masks



During this COVID 19 pandemic, the new normal means now that masks are very much a part of our lives. From performing day to day tasks like going for a walk or a grocery shopping run, we always have to mask up. The introduction of masks has also brought with it its own set of problems. One thing that is widely disliked by most people, is the inability to see the bottom half of a person’s face. It is difficult to tell whether someone is angry, happy, or sad. In order to counteract this, I decided to create Emote Mask.

Emote Mask is a wearable device that uses LED lights to convey the emotions of the user. It is designed to be integrated seamlessly as part of a regular face mask. There are four LED strips located inside the mask which are all used to animate the mask. There are two different animations that can be loaded into the mask one at a time. (1) Blink and (2) Fade. Once a person, puts on the mask, all he/she has to do to get the animations going is to connect the Arduino to the power bank and simply power it on.

Emote Mask is an example of a wearable technology that belongs to the visual feedback and reachability category. The Emote Mask is placed in an easy-to-reach body location which is the mouth and the LED lights which provide the visual feedback can easily be seen.


(1) Arduino Nano 33 IOT

(4) LED Strips

(2) Alligator clips

(1) Full-sized breadboard

Jumper wires

Cotton sewn face mask

Soldering Iron



Demo Video


Parts & Materials
Parts & Materials
Soldered LED Strips
Soldered LED Strips
Arduino + LED Strips
Arduino + LED Strips
Mask + LED Strips
Mask + LED Strips


Development Video


Mask LED Light Off
Mask LED Light On
Final Prototype Off
Final Prototype On







Many designs have started popping up as a way to showcase people’s emotions behind the mask. Be it a mask with an actual picture of you or someone else’s mouth printed on the fabric or a transparent fabric to allow visual access. Some even have the LED lights light up matching the user’s mouth movements. Jabbermask can be mentioned as an example of such a product. The Jabbermask is an interactive voice-controlled facemask that allows users to express themselves. The mask is made up primarily of RGB LEDs, either AAA batteries or rechargeable batteries (depending on the model), and a voice-activated mic. The LED lights change based on how the mouth is moving, with simple physical commands like popping the lips displaying simple words, emojis, or smiles. Most authentically though, the mouth can also move in time with the mouth of the user, emulating the physical action of the lips underneath. In addition, users can pick from a selection of emojis, words, letters, and symbols to display on their face masks. Similar to this, the Emote Mask also makes use of LED strips for its lighting. However, it does not utilize the voice control aspect of the Jabbermask.

Another related example is a facemask with LED animations from a Youtube channel called Nerdforge. This prototype is made up of addressable LED strips, an Arduino, an SD card reader, a power bank, along with a face mask. The LED light animations are triggered when the Arduino is connected to the power bank. The animations are first created using a custom Webapp built by Nerdforge, then loaded onto an SD card connected to the Arduino. The Arduino then reads the built-in animations from the SD Card and outputs them through the LED lights. The Webapp allows the user to customize their own animations in any way they want. The Emote mask was based directly on this particular example, with the way it uses the blink and fade as animations.

The last example which I found is an example of a good concept which I feel was not well constructed. While parsing through the internet for examples, I found this LED face mask prototype which was created by a Bengal man. This prototype makes use of LED bulbs as a decoration around the mask and acts as a sign for people not wearing masks. Although the use of LEDs is a creative way to encourage the wearing of masks, I feel that this mask does not offer the same level of creativity and usefulness compared to the other examples mentioned previously.


Coggan, Georgia. “Incredible New Face Mask Displays Your Emotions.” Creative Bloq, September 7, 2020. https://www.creativebloq.com/news/led-face-mask.
Ghosh, Raya. “Bengal Man Makes LED Face Mask to Protect Himself from Coronavirus. Watch Video.” India Today, July 20, 2020. https://www.indiatoday.in/trending-news/story/bengal-man-makes-led-face-mask-to-protect-himself-from-coronavirus-watch-video-1702381-2020-07-20.
Nerdforge. Making a Face Mask with ANIMATIONS!!, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNogUc4_8GM.
Zeagler, Clint. “Where to Wear It.” Proceedings of the 2017 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, 2017, doi:10.1145/3123021.3123042.

LED Heart Alpaca Bracelet by Hortensia Reyes


LED Heart Alpaca Bracelet by Hortensia


I love alpaca fibre, is soft, light, breathable and hypoallergenic. I weaved this bracelet while trying to learn how to weave. I love textile jewelry because wearing them are very comfortable, I made a necklace of alpaca fibre too.


Now I tried to incorporated lights to this bracelet to see how it looks.

In this project I used fairy light strip and shaped as a heart, I sewed these light on top with regular thread of the bracelet. The “heart” lights fade following a heartbeat and inside the “heart” there are three groups of blinking sewable LED lights. The LED lights blink at three different rates: slow, medium and fast blinking. The piece represents a beating, sparkling heart –a sign of love– and lighting is applied on top of an alpaca bracelet but I sewed these lights under the bracelet, then light come through the textile, I want to have a subtle light, not so intense. I like how the light were show all together.

The fairy light strip and each group of LED lights have its own connection to the Arduino Nano 33 IoT board. Each connection uses a different port on the Arduino board for the positive, that way the program can apply the corresponding effects and blinking or fading rates. The Arduino code combines the fading and blinking basic examples, but uses proportional refresh rates for fading and blinking, since multiples delays did not produce the desired effect (delays accumulate and fading and blinking became all too slow).

The piece is quite light, around 100g, which meets the weight wearability criteria for the wrist by Clint Zeagler’s video (Zeagler, 2018), which specifies under 0.5lb for this part of the body.

Since I started testing the circuits using the Arduino Nano 33 IoT, I learnt the final result did not meet the portability criteria to be strictly wearable. Perhaps the Arduino Nano 33 IoT was not the best board selection, because it has been designed to be used on a breadboard or a socket, not precisely a sewable board. I know the Adafruit’s “Circuit Playground Express” would have been a much better option, since it does not have pins and it has holes that can be used to be sewed on a piece of fabric. This board could have been powered with two 3V coin batteries, which would have been enough for low power lights like the ones I used, and this would have met the portability criteria for wearability. The most important for me doing this prototype was learnt how to do the connectivity, build circuits and try to use the Nano 33 IOT which I never used in my life.

Prototype Image 1

Detail Image 1

Detail Image 2

Prototype Image 2

Prototype Image 3
Part & Materials

Alpaca weaving bracelet
Full-size breadboard
Arduino Nano IoT 33
Through-Hole resistors
Conductive thread
Regular thread
USB cable
5 Pink LilyPad LED
2 White LilyPad LED
Fairy lights
Arduino Code

See: https://github.com/hreyes1965/Arduino/blob/main/FadeAndBlink.ino
Circuit Diagram

Below the circuit diagram. As you can see, there are three sets of LED lights inside the heart, this was made with the fairy light strip. Each set of LED lights as well as the fairy light strip have their own red wire (positive), which connects to a different port in the Arduino board, that way they can get different effects each.

Each red wire line does not touch each other, also red and black wires do not touch. We are using a USB portable charger showed on the diagram below to power this project, but for this project to be wearable we would probably have to use a set of coin batteries.

Testing my LED circuit

Demo Video


“Light-up LED Cuff / Bracelet With Magnetic Switch (e-textile)” (Dawson, 2017)
When I started with this project, I tried to find simple guidelines to understand how to connect and sew conductive thread to integrate into my textile (weaving). I found this helpful website, easy to follow and with clear directions, maybe too easy to understand because it was a project for primary school students, but it was good for my first prototype. I watched the video tutorial that help me on doing my sewing with the conductive thread. I recommend this to anybody who is pretty new on e-wearability.

“Making a Face Mask with ANIMATIONS!!” (Nedforge, 2020)
This was the design that inspired me for this project. Although I did not do a face mask and did not use the LED Matrix, which was built with individual addressable LED strips, this was an interesting project. I did not know the LED Matrix and the supporting software existed. On the down side, welding was required for this project and I do not have a soldering iron yet. The idea of light animation inspired me to use sewable lights in my bracelet. Maybe in my next project I could use a LED Matrix to create more light animations.
“Actualizer: LED Bracelets” (Actua Canada, 2016)
This was the terrible animation, because although was a simple project like the the first example “Light -Up Led Cuff” the explanation was not clear, the video helps but the explanation was unclear, the design was very sloppy and there is not a list of the material needed to make this project. I think is because the first example was address to school students the demonstration, video, photos and list of materials was clear like a lesson for students in the classroom which could be used for a school teacher to do this project in class.

Actua Canada; “Actualizers: LED Bracelets”. September 20, 2016. In: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc7uony7pYo

Dawson, Jill; “Light-up LED Cuff / Bracelet With Magnetic Switch (e-textile)”. 2017. In: https://www.instructables.com/Light-up-LED-Cuff-Bracelet-With-Magnetic-Switch-e-/

Nedforge; “Making a Face Mask with ANIMATIONS!!”. May 12, 2020. In: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNogUc4_8GM&feature=youtu.be

Zeagler, Clint; “Where to wear it”. July 15, 2018. In: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwRcPTddS0k&feature=youtu.be

Music Festival Headband by Trish


During these uncertain times of the pandemic we find ourselves looking back and longing to go out for social gatherings. For my prototype I decided to design a headband that lights up to the beat of the music. Its use is not limited to music festivals can be worn at house parties and other events that involve music.

The music festival headband is a wearable device that is designed to light up the world of the user the idea is to capture the attention of the people that surround the user. The headband has a sound sensor that captures the beats of the music to light up the LEDs insync with the music, when the music is off the headband doesn’t light up.

The device consists of 8 different colour LEDs connected to an arduino nano on a breadboard and also has a  microphone sound sensor module that detects the sound of the music. The wires are wrapped around the frame of the headband and covered with ribbons so as not to be visible. As we are limited to make use of the supplies we have at home I covered up the long hanging wires with black ribbon so as to mimic or give the illusion of someone’s hair as a next iteration I would like to explore less bulky electronics so as to keep the design compact.

Some of the challenges I faced while designing the headband was figuring out how to place the LEDs especially because I didn’t have any conductive thread but eventually improvised with wires. The full sized breadboard was also very bulky so I packed it in my fanny pack so that its not seen for when someone is moving around although it is not a long term solution but for a prototype it worked well. From Clint Zeagler work “Where to wear it” he mentions that a wearable for sensing can be worn on the head.


(4) red LEDs, (2) blue LEDs, (2) green LEDs

(1) Arduino Nano 33 IoT

(20) M-F Dupont Jumper Cables

(1) Solderless Breadboard

(2)Standard Insulated pointed wire

(1)Microphone sound sensor module

Red and Black ribbon

Glue gun

USB cable


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ORPHE ONE are a pair of shoes that emits lights and sounds in sync with the wearer’s every foot movement whether a step or a jump. Equipped with full-color LED soles and high-precision motion sensor technology, the revolutionary performance of this smart shoes is sure to capture the eye of the audience. The shoes can be linked, customized and controlled using an app. The shoes are interesting because they can literally help someone communicate their feelings without having to say a word.


As my projects is an accessory I’ll mention the Joule it is made as a piece of jewelry.  Joule has a heart rate monitor that helps one to achieve the best result for their workout, by providing the heart rate information while they are working out. It also tracks the calories burnt not only when one is exercising, but also accounts for the missing 90% daily caloric expenditure. Even though it doesn’t light up it is still. a very useful wearable and a compact and discreet on at that.

Having gone hiking with the Energizer headlamp I must say in terms of convenience of having a headlamp is great but in terms of comfort it wasn’t the best experience. Some of the features include. VisionGuard protects vision by gradually increasing light intensity. Low battery indicator. IPX4 water resistant and shatterproof lens construction. Latest LED technology and patented optics, delivering exceptional vision, up to 15X brighter than standard LED technology. 6 Modes High, Low, Flood, Red, Red Flashing, Green. Features LED Technology.


B. (2016). Joule Smart Earring Backs to track fitness! Joule. https://shopjoule.com/

LED Headlamps and Headlights. (2021). Energizer. https://www.energizer.com/lighting/headlights

no new folk studio. (2020, July 22). ORPHE ONE|ORPHE. ORPHE| https://orphe.shoes/en/one/

Emotional Apron By Jessy


  • Description and Discussion

The emotional apron is a wearable led matrix and its color will change according to the environment. There is a sound sensor attached to the apron and connected to the Arduino board. Technically, the sound sensor is an input port and triggering the led matrix to make changes. There are totally three states of this led matrix(see image 1.1-1.3), specifically, the led matrix will show a blue state to indicate the out space is sort of quiet, and change to red-state when in a pretty noisy environment like a crowded street, or a busy public space. As we are rarely in an environment without any sound, so when there is some external sound that is not enough to reach a level of annoyance, the led matrix will show the green state.

Wearables are sort of electronic devices that can be worn as accessories. They could be embedded in clothing, implanted in the user’s body, and tightly attached to the physical body like the sports watch that be worn on the wrist and will not affect the movement of the human body. Wearable technology should be basically placed in the area that will not disturb people’s movement, so in this project, I chose the apron as a basic wearable framework and embedded the sensor and device inside. In the process of testing, I firstly chose a hoody as a frame, but it turned out that the apron was more wearable which can be taken off or put on rapidly. Although the current apron needs to support by a laptop( the battery container is still being shipped)and the wire connections also need to totally replaced by the conductive sewing thread, but from the perspective of the overall operation, it is highly wearable. Additionally, according to the Body Map- Body Locations for Wearable Technology, it shows the upper whole body(the dark green area in the body map) is a better area to place the device, so I placed the LED Matrix around this area.

For most wearable devices, like smartwatches or fitness trackers, their goal is to use sensors to get users’ information, in other words, our internal information. My thinking is, the external or environmental information could also be considered to be integrated into the wearable devices, in other words, the wearable is not only to track our bodies but also from the external space. So the emotional apron is firstly sensing the external situation and delivering this information to people. The LED matrix is sort of a signal output that can reflect the external sound condition.


prototypeimage detail1 detail2 detail3

  • Code Link


  • Sensor List

4*5 RGB LEDs

Arduino Nano IoT

Jump line

Sound Sensor


Ordinary sewing thread & conductive sewing thread

  • Context

When doing the research, I found three wearable light projects that I want to share. The first one is called Turn Signal Biking Jacket, which is a useful wearable light application. The device is attached to the back of a jacket. People can wear it when doing some sports, especially when riding a bicycle. The controllers are embedded on the cuff, which is easy to click and other people will see the signal directly. Besides, this project is realized by Lily Pad with its related components, so technically the jacket could be washable without the battery. So I think this project is really practical and useful for many activities.  More making details could be found from  https://www.instructables.com/turn-signal-biking-jacket/


Image is from ‘https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/14/17233430/wearable-media-fashion-tech-nyc-ceres-jumpsuit-interactive’

The second project is a wearable prototype called Ceres(image above), it is designed by the studio called wearable media, a fashion tech studio based in New York City. There is an embedded microcontroller in Ceres programmed to work with NASA’s Asteroid Neo-Ws RESTful API, which collects and catalogs real-time data sets of near-Earth asteroids surrounding our orbit. So the suits will vibrate timely. This project is really beautiful, as it is not just a fashion design, but also a wearable design. The material of the suit is also soft and light, but at the same time, it will also help the user to be aware of the vibration. This project is also a combination of technology and aesthetics.

The last one is a little bit terrible called Bling Bra, even this project is mainly to make fun, but it is indeed a negative example of a wearable light project. Firstly, the way of attachment is too simple, which is only to install on the surface of the bra. The bra is a sort of private suit, which requires some biometric consideration when embedding the devices. So this project is incomplete as I could not find any meaning from the aesthetically and practically.


1.’Where to Wear it: Functional, Technical, and Social Considerations in On-Body Location for Wearable Technology 20 Years of Designing for Wearability,’ Clint Zeagler

2. ‘What is Wearable Technology, How it Works?’ Kela Casery, ’https://codersera.com/blog/what-is-wearable-technology-how-it-works/’

3.’What is wearable tech? Everything you need to know’,’ ChrisSmith’, August 17, 2019

Wristband by Wanqing Liu



Description and Discussion

Smart wristbands are popular in smart device market. They can provide testing and statistics of step counting, sleep, heart rate, and exercise data to users. In this assignment, I would like to build up a lo-fi prototype of a smart band, using the functions of circuit playground express.

The prototype is consisting of a band and a circuit playground express. The band is made by straps and cotton cloth. And the circuit playground express can be placed into the little cloth pocket, as well as remove from it. Methods used is sewing and coding.

This wristband is designed to monitor temperature and wake up user in the morning.

(1)By pressing the button A, user can switch on its colorful lights whose amount shows how high the temperature is (More lights represents higher temperature). If the temperature becomes higher than 36℃, all the lights will turn red, to remind user of paying attention to take measure from getting sunstroke.

(2)When the wristband prototype detect sunlight, it will play music to wake up user.

Why is twist? According to Clint Zeagler, wearable devices should avoid obstructing body movement. Twist, as is usually a place for watch, is ideal for light-weighted wearable devices and not stop people from moving.

I am new to coding, so I used MakeCode to make things easier. Codes were written by selecting and moving different modules. I have experienced some confused moment but finally I made it. What I learned from this assignment is basic knowledge of how to control my circuit playground express by code, and code logic.

Demo Video


Detail Image

I used a power bank to work as battery for powering the circuit.





Parts and materials

(2) Straps

(1) Cotton cloth

(1) Buckle

(1) Circuit playground express

(1) Power bank




The first one is the beautiful one. Second skin watch, designed by Svetlana Blum, is made in PU, LED and metal. There are two rows of LED lights in the watch, one displaying hours and the other minutes, to shows the exact time every five minutes. All the user need to do is touch the display to awaken the lights. Its shape has a sense of line, is full of classy vibe. The combination of the position of LEDs and the overall shape is just right, thus brings out the best for each other. My prototype is inspired by its use of LEDs.


The second one is not a light device but I like its inclusive function. People who visually impaired may have difficulty using common watch to look at the time. And Dot watch is a solution for this situation. It is a braille smartwatch and its users can read the time by touching its surface. It can also be connected to smartphone via an app. When someone call in, the Dot watch will display the name of the caller, then users can receive messages with ease by touching it. In my opinion, this is a useful and inclusive design, because it has well addressed the problem and is concise in appearance and simple to use.


The last one is a fitness tracker, the Atlas Wristband. The Atlas Wristband is made to monitor exercises, reps, calculates calories burned and evaluates form. What makes it different is users can see how each movement affects their body, and this wristband can track body on the x-, y- and z-axes. I also like the way that it align one edge of the rectangle to the strap’s, but I think its display interface is lack of aesthetic and a bit too large for a person who is doing exercise to carry.



Design Buzz. LED Display Turns the ‘Second Skin’ Wristwatch Into a Fashion Accessory[Blog post]. Retrived fom https://www.aminimalstudio.com/second-skin-watch

Dot Incorporation(2018). Dot Watch. Retrived from https://buy.dotincorp.com/product/dot-watch/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIiqTs9JG77gIVVTizAB2Vyw-5EAYYASABEgIWNPD_BwE

Peter Li(2014). The Atlas Wristband. Retrived from https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-atlas-wristband#/

another work

Just make for fun! I sewed a seven-color led to a glove, and it can be powered by a button battery.

Video link: https://youtu.be/2ZYz3WpLMAQ

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