We had an informal meeting the previous Thursday to discuss the best method of wiring which would create less bulk and less likelihood of breakage. The conductive thread’s behaviour is difficult to contain, master and it is the most likely to break, it also doesn’t carry enough power needed. The silicone cover wire is for now the best solution, it doesn’t create much bulk and its performance is a lot more manageable.
The new textile swatch proved to be very successful in its design to contain the LED’s and assist an easy fix if needed, flexibility for different lengths of LED strips, room for wiring to be applied and it is visually appealing. The perforated pattern broke the single LED light into 3 smaller lights giving the illusion of having many more LEDs placed. We will continue to experiment with various textures to manipulate the light as it was proven to be a successful technique through out our workshops. The placement of the LED’s presented to be an issue as the individual areas of the toile were to large and some of the shapes were not suitable to include the LEDs grid for efficient programming. We need to be clever with the seems as the more seems the looser the fabric. We worked with the asymmetrical assigned areas within toile and broke it down into smaller parts by adjusting the textile rather than adding more seems . Although some of the areas were not adding up so we will have to revisit the pattern and the toile’s construction. Our best solution is to go back to the drawing board and decide the LED placement first keeping in mind the swatch and its integrity.
Saturday workshop was very straight to the point as we were looking for the possible solutions for the issues addressed on Thursday. The individual issues and proposed solutions are further described under electronics issues and fashion issues.
Electronics Research Summary from Workshop 05
The electronics group were tasked with two main research areas for this workshop:
- Detecting touch from a specific source
- Accurately detecting distance between the two garments
It’s relatively easy to detect a touch to our garment – It is more of a challenge to detect a touch from a specific source. All touches to our garment register the same way – This is not a bad thing. It keeps our battery life down, sensor profile slim and complexity low… But it means the information coming from these touch panels is simplistic, on or off. This is not good enough to be able to distinguish between a touch to our garment from an observer and the fellow performer. So what’s the solution?
Our two proposed touch solutions rely on the same basic principal, confirmation. The two garments will communicate with each other about who has been touched and who is touching. A garment which has been touched, will listen to see if the other garment says that is is currently touching something. If this is true, we can assume with relative certainty that the garments are touching and we can ask the touched garment to react accordingly.
Solution one involves a button concealed in a cufflink or other wired button which when pressed, will put the garment into “touching mode” for 5 seconds or so. If during this time the second garment is touched, it will react. This solution while easy to implement has the limitation of needing to be wired – which means it is harder to conceal – and it interrupts the natural movement of the pair while pressing the button.
Solution two is mostly the same as the first, except that it will be wireless and thus much easier to conceal in an accessory or piece of hand worn jewellery, such as a ring. The button may also be replaced by a touch sensor similar to the touch pads on the garment itself, making the touch gesture more natural. Finding a stable (and small!) method of wireless communication is the challenge with this method.
The problem of distance measurement between two specific objects (without the need to point a sensor of some kind) within an enclosed environment is one without an obvious, off the shelf solution.
Both Wifi and Bluetooth signal strength are too variable to rely on owing to the differing signal patterns from device to device and the effect competing signals have on signal strength.
Traditional ultrasonic distance sensors also would not be suitable. If you’ve ever had a bat’s echolocation explained to you, this is the same stuff. Usually, one ultrasonic device sending out a pulse measures the length of time it takes for it’s own echo, which has bounced off the nearest object, to return.
This solution does not suit us because we only want garment A to light up in response to garment B, not in response to an approaching wall!
Our solution, proposed by Dave Hunt, is to use traditional ultrasonic distance sensors in a non traditional manner. We will be using 2 devices, one on each garment.
The way this will work is when the first device sends out a pulse, it will stop listening for replies for a defined amount of time, T. When the second device hears this sound, it will wait for the same amount of time, T, before sending a response. The first device will pick this response up and be able to calculate the distance based on the amount of time it took for the “round trip” of signals to happen.
The use of delays in this solution is required in order to ignore the initial echo effect upon which the usual operation of these ultrasonic devices depends on.
Fashion Research Summary from Workshop 06:
The fashion group had these two main issues to address and try to come up with suitable solutions
- Incorporate grid LEDs display for complex animation into the tigh fit dress without loosing the integrity of random LEDs strip pattern
- Design the innovative and contemporary menswear outfit that would be directly synchronized with the dress
Why is the random placement of LEDs strip important?
Textile manipulation that we are going to use based on the swatch Lucia made to ‘hide’ the LEDs in the dress is sustainable and interesting. It uses the LEDs strip placement to create a 3D lifted pattern/texture around the dress. This results in displaying rather than hiding the LEDs even if the lights are off. It is one of the reason why we want to keep the visual integrity of random placement. Another reason is to use the LEDs in a more innovative and unpredictable way rather than a square screen. Random routes of the LEDs strips are also essential to show effectively the ‘traveling light’ animation when the dress is touched /activated.
Why is the grid placement of LEDs is important.
To achieve the maximum from the animation we need to have the LEDs placed in the grid. The software that can scan any image and translate it into the animation. This is a crucial feature to allow the dress to animate on a higher level. Our goal is to achieve the maximum space for the complex animations together with seemingly random patterns.
What to be aware of in relation to the fashion appeal?
The dress is designed to be a tight fit so we need to be clever and inventive about how to achieve it’s fit. We can run into danger if the combination of LEDs with a tight fit and sheer treatment could end up looking like a bodycon of the rack with Christmas lights, rather than hi-fashion wearable tech garment.
To combine the tight fit, random LED strips and the square grids of LED’s, we decided to draft the dress pattern into a number of small parts. When put together tight fit will be achieved by cleverly cut seams and darts rather than by a stretch fabric. This will also give us an opportunity to create some of the pattern pieces into grid displays. These pieces will carry out the main animations by keeping the integrity of the grid display. Dress parts displaying the animation will seemingly connect together by the individual – random LED strips. These will keep the visual appearance of a connection between individual animations. Also these individual bridges will carry the animation of the light traveling from the dress towards the sensors when touched.
Our next step is to pattern draft the dress form to assure the tight fit and assign the pieces that will carry out the grid animations.
Initial design for the menswear is to create a long shirt /dress. These can be worn in combination with the skinnies. The longer shape will highlight the futuristic nature of the design. The LED display will be complimentary to the woman’s dress. When touched at the sensor the ray of light will point towards the sensor. This idea will create the illusion where the ray of light from the men’s shirt travels into the woman’s dress and creates a reaction like a lighting bolt.
During the day it was clear that our group has a very strong and professional dynamic. If a problem or an issue arised we were able to find a possible solution very quickly. Also it was the first event where we started physically making things and it was a great experience. There is still a lot to do with textile experimentation but most of this work will have to be done outside of the workshops as it is very time consuming. However we had time to go through some of the typical and suitable techniques like pleating, honeycomb pleating, knitting, combining materials, embroidery and laser cutting. We compared and evaluate the materials that we have and planned some swatches together. We will bring all the swatches done outside the workshop along on Thursday evening where we will add on some 3D printed elements to our portfolio.
The final idea for our function – synchronized formal wear for a trendy and fashion forward teen couple – means there will be visual communications between two garments demonstrated by light patterns or colors based on a touch or a movement.
As a starting point we will design one garment as a part of womanswear and one garment as a part of menswear. Once these initial designs are resolved concept can be easily applied to various couples.
We also found that the technology in the function ideas overlapped and some of the other ideas can be implemented within.
Understandably the primary source of inspiration is derived from the electronic and real function of the garment. The secondary source of inspiration is based around either one of these terms:
symbiosis, metamorphosis or equilibrium
Now that we will be tackling the form we are starting a group board on Pinterest where we can share our visual inspirations to create common mood boards. We will also keep constant communication on the Facebook within the group to share our findings and ask questions.
It is important for us to share various different available electronic components we can use as the fashion design will have to be made accordingly to accommodate them.
We had a great mix of people so we had an overwhelming amount of ideas from various sectors…entrainment, performance, health and safety, medical, security, gaming, personal assistance, BIO recording, musical…There was no stopping for anyone to think about the form of the garment however that wasn’t the priority of the event. Form will follow function and that will be a task for our next event!
selection of ideas :
SYNCHRONIZED WEARABLE ELECTRONICS
HOT & COLD GAME CLOTHING
Clothing for kids interactive game that would signalize if one is close or far away, with various life saves.
(for example: releasing smoke, becoming invisible…for a chance to run away)
Clothes that would scan for color of surrounding backgrounds, other people’s clothing etc. and match the same color or generate complimentary color.
Clear shoes that change accordingly to the outfit by color detection and color display matching.
MOVEMENT DRIVEN CLOTHING
Clothing that would record and analyze movement and react with different effects.
(for example: lit up, make sound, change shape…)
EXPERIENCE ENHANCING CLOTHING
Clothing that would enhance an experience of someone or something else as a part of entertainment or enforcement for sport and gaming.
(for example vibrates for excitement, shock if surprised…)
Clothes with festival aesthetic with self expressive or interactive elements
( for example feather headdress with LED effect or mechanical movement function…)
LIGHT EMITTING SHOES
Shoes would be synchronized within the group or community( Facebook friends, hen night, stags, youth clubs, team nights out…) to lit up when together. They also could animate to dancing, moving or to the music beat or use some other displays of synchronization.
MOOD INDICATION CLOTHING
clothes that would detect mood in some way and display it with LED lights in a form of emoticons or phrase.
Potentially for people who have a problem with communicating basic human emotions or for spreading a good mood (for example if I am happy you are happy…)
MECHANICAL WEARABLE ELECTRONICS
Clothes with a build in USB charger that would charge phones and other gadgets by storing solar and / or creating kinetic energy…
STEAM PUNK COSTUME
“Steam” powered clothes appealing to the eye, that displays number of rotating mini satellite dishes, rotating cogs… and other mechanical or electrical elements
RAIN PROTECTION CLOTHING
Clothes that protects sports people in the rain with automatic ‘umbrella’ like effect, that fits accordingly to the specific sport need by application of rain sensor and mechanical mechanism.
NOTIFYING WEARABLE ELECTRONICS
Clothing made out of various pieces that fits into each other to create different shapes. Different kinds of clothing for example top could change from one with collar and short sleeves into one without a collar with long sleeves… transferable elements would have different functions based on phone various phone notifications. It would notify about emails, texts, fb feeds etc…each in a different manner
LIVE FEED CLOTHING
Clothing with multiple screens which would display live tweets, advertising…
HEALTH & SAFETY WEARABLE ELECTRONICS
SAFETY MOTORBIKE JACKET
Jacket that would enhance indicators by use of LED lights for motorbike drivers as a part of fashionable leather biker jacket.
X- RAY PROTECTION CLOTHING
Clothing or method that would protect from x-ray while being light and comfortable to wear.
HEATING / COOLING CLOTHING
Clothes with temperature sensing for health & safety and personal comfort purposes, that uses manual / automatic heater with temperature sensors. For example clothes could react early if a baby was running a temperature, and start to cool the baby, while raising the alarm to parents. Or clothes for comfort maintaining the body temperature – heating when cold and cooling when warm.
Clothes that warns you if you are about to lift something beyond your strength, customized to different limbs. This clothes would use an application of strain-gauge measurement to log data and give immediate feedback to serve as a body protection and movement recording and evaluation device. For example it could also be used to ensure someone follows a prescribed set of exercises given by a physio instruction or in rehabilitation center after sports or accident injury.
LOCATION DETECTING CLOTHING
Discreet and comfortable safety gadget that would be integrated into child’s clothing. It would help parents with young children to help find them if they got lost in a shopping center or perhaps on holidays.
STRESS REDUCING CLOTHING
Clothes that would indicate if one is getting stressed, and perhaps have some soothing reaction or vibration that would encourage him to relax, and de-stress.
ENVIRONMENT INTERACTIVE WEARABLE ELECTRONICS
BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY CLOTHING
It would scan for weather and shine light accordingly.
(too cloudy it would shine more , too sunny it would shine less, heavy rain – animation of sun etc…)
HEAT SCANNING CLOTHING
Interactive animation on the clothing that would change based on the distance of another person. For example patterns or colors would change as person comes closer or touches the clothing.
Clothing with build in camera that would take pictures if person has a full hands or is in the rush
Heels that would automatically lower if shoes are causing pain. Using a sensor to sense the weakness of muscles or a simple timer to reduce height over the time worn.
Gadget that would find items in bags or other storage spaces
Light up keys /phone by a touch button/switch in a garment or accessory
Go-go that would straighten your hair / or notify you that your hair looks bad from the back
BIO FEEDBACK ACCESSORY
Pedometer and heart-rate monitor feeding back to a curved display wrapped around the arm.
Hat with build in speakers for convenient entertainment.
ELECTRONIC DISPLAY FEATURE
Boots with LED strip around heels, with vertical strips up the height of a pair of knee-high boots, would lit up in accordance to the frequency of movement.
Clothes with full LED light pattern and motion sensors. Light pattern would change in accordance to a movement while wearing the dress for example fast changes/ when dancing or moving fast and slow subtle changes when walking or dancing slowly.
Simple clothing that would ‘blossom’ under a camera.
LIGHT EMITTING CLOTHING
LED lit ball gown
We got a great mix of collaborators to join our team! Some who came from different parts of Ireland. So far we have 5 people for each of our disciplines – FASHION DESIGN – SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE DESIGN – DRESSMAKING – PRODUCT DESIGN- 3D PRINTING AND MODELING. We are still looking for more people to join us, the bigger the team the bigger the outcome!