Electronics and sensors allow artists to create interactive smart garments that produce sound and images in reaction to movement. They sense and communicate with the environment and the user, and may react to them. In some cases the garment is in connection with the Internet and exchanges information based on the data it has measured.
As the term ‘wearable’ suggests, these interactive artworks are carried by the user and in bodily connection with him or her.
The Wearable Electronics course has been organised during autumn 2011 in collaboration between Aalto University School of Art and Design, and MUU Artists’ Association. The participants who come from a variety of backgrounds such as new media, costume design, textile design, fine art and performing arts have been encouraged to create their own visions of wearable technology. They have worked in teams to carry out their ideas based on the Arduino development platform.
Welcome to experience these six unique projects – to see them in use and even to try some of them on.
Place: MUU Gallery (Lönnrotinkatu 33, Helsinki)
Time: Monday 5.12. at 17-19
We came up with a title for our concept: Impulse/Control. I’m really happy how this project has me jumping from the wood, costume, and electronics workshops. We’re investing a lot of time and effort into the project, and we’re excited to see how it comes together.
Two control boxes are built. We found a different kind of plastic case from a dentist office for the buzzer enclosures.
One box is wired up.
Close-up of the diode logic for multiple switches to control multiple buzzers.
We have been working on the gloves project this week and made some progress. First, we sewed the conductive thread to the inner fabric layer of the gloves, and soldered the amps onto the circuit boards (after failing twice, we got it right on the 3rd time). After that we tested the connection between the thread on the layer and the i/o of the circuit. Finally, we started sewing the circuit and the connections onto the inner layer.
The sound produced with thread connections was not as loud as wire connections, although the thread was quite short there’s still some resistances that reduced the amplitude.
A lot of discussions and thinkings took place before sewing the conductive thread. For example, for the piezo pair, there were 13 thread lines that went into the circuit board. This was one of the major challenges as the space on the back of the gloves was limited, so we needed to carefully plan the placement of the thread to avoid crossing that would cause unwanted connections.
We have also got some ideas and progress to embed the small speakers in simple but nice looking resonators. More pictures will be added later. Here is one early version:
The first test of thermochromic textiles. We tried to test different materials as the heating element. These small patches were woven by hand with various metallic threads and silk thread dyed with the thermochromic ink.
Here is the actual thread we are going to use:
The picture below shows us measuring the length and type of resistance wire we can use. We had two types of wire: 0.3 mm and 0.4 mm. It seems that we need about 300 mA of current to heat the wire to a point where it reacts with the threads dyed with thermochromic ink.
The lengths of wire we can use with a 9V battery:
~ 4 meters of the 0.3 mm wire
~ 5 meters of the 0.4 mm wire
A 9V battery is not really the ideal option since it would drain out really fast when we use 300 mA., but we also need the higher voltage. I think we need to use a bigger LiPo or NiMH battery (7.4V or 11.1V).
Emmi working on the shape of the dress. Materials:
Monday, we finally got the joystick and buttons in the mail.
I’m really happy with the look and feel of the joystick and arcade buttons. One of the four directions wasn’t clicking every time, so I did a little joystick surgery. It is satisfying to be able to take apart a component with a few screws then immediately see how it works and how to fix it.
Here is the first control box. We still need to do the wiring inside.
Thanks to the other class members who helped me get these plastic eggs out of their chocolate packaging. Each of these will be a vibration/light module to give directional impulses to the dancer.
Some progress with the electrodes has been done! From left to right: base unit, electrode, ground electrode. Ali from Media Factory soldered the tiny SMD’s to the board (like a boss). We still need to attach the resistors and capacitors and some copper before we can test it out.
The PCB’s were designed in Eagle CAD according to .