Talking Fabrics Electronics Project

For this project our mission was to display nonverbal communication through clothing. I decided to make a hat that depending on how you are standing LED’s will turn on. For example, many males give the “head nod” to say hi as they walk by so for this hat once your head moves up and down LED’s turn on to signify another way of saying hi. With enough LED’s one could make faces out of them or colors depending on how you move your head to express emotions. This could be given to those who cannot speak and allow motions of their head or arms to display a certain colour which correlates to an emotion or answer.

To start this project I started from a bread board. With a Switch sensor, resistor and Arduino I started to make the most simple form of my idea.

The code was a simple blink function provided in the examples Arduino gives. From there the next step was to bring this same concept and add an external LED and utilize a cheapduino.

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Using the cheapduino took a while and I needed the help of Antonius but eventually I was able to  do the same function as if I used the Ardunio. Once the code was working properly I had to find something to attach this system to. I decided to use a hat and make head motions the nonverbal communication. To think that a head nod could say hi and and shaking back and fourth to say no, with the addition to LED’s specific colors or shapes in addition to the normal motions we are use to adds the the amount of information we can express between each other.

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IMG_0942I started making the hat from the battery. I created this pouch in  the front where the battery is housed. from there I sewed the wires around and then attached them to the cheapdunio. I used multiwire for flexibility but also conductive thread with a little cloth coating for flexibility. I then recreated my circuit that I designed on the bread board. The difficulty I experience was how things were to be situated. On a bread board things are nice and organized but placing it on a fabric requires a lot more wires and planning. Due to the size of the cheapduni and the had having a space that could cater to the batter rather easily it is hard to notice any different other than the thread and LED’s. I believe there are many applications this could be used for such as street dancers or synchronized dancers having LED’s that react to the motion they are doing at the moment.



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