Tag: soft circuits
Janet Hansen is President and Chief Fashion Engineer of Enlighted Designs, Inc., a California based business that creates custom illuminated clothing. With over 10 years of experience, she founded the business to create her ideal position as a light-up clothing designer and it has taken her further than she ever anticipated. With a growing celebrity clientele that includes Kanye West, MIA, Daft Punks and Katy Perry (just to name a few) Hansen has mastered illuminated clothing for the stage performance. Janet is a one stop shop for light up clothing. She makes her own controller circuits and seems to have a real pulse on making solid light-oriented wearables. Her company offers everything from ready-to-wear limited edition pieces like hats, ties and bras, to more Lady Gaga-esque custom orders that fulfill your every visual need.
A friend once told us that her younger sister used an ECG cap and was called E.T. because of it. While it was family and clearly a verbal love tap, it mirrored a bigger issue with current monitoring technology: it can be ugly and conspicuous. Enter wearable technology…once again!
Wearable technology has made noteable progress toward discretely integrated sensors into clothing but have not mastered the art and science for medical purposes. TecInTex, a research program at Nano-Tera is attempting to bridge the gap between theory and a realistic product. The goal of their research is to develop a group of functional fibers with sensors that can measure body functions like continuous ECG monitoring, gather that information by being close to the body, production of the garments and prototypes for medical purposes.
Our vote: yay wearables, boo mean kids!
Yes, Apple has crossed over and is looking far into the future with new Senior Prototype Engineer, Richard DeVaul on the payroll. After an angry fist shaking session, we took a step back and examined the situation. While DeVaul has taken our dream path straight to Jobs (ha…a job with Jobs), us Mom-and-Pop wearable shops needn’t fear the Walmart-ing of our companies and brands. This, ladies and gentlemen, could mean an industry boom for wearables.
Wearables, like every other industry, has it’s layers. There are the couture designers trying to make you Gaga-ed out, the Ipod wearable helping people-on-the-go move to a beat, the rave-scene wearable, the kitschy wearables products for all wearbles geeks, the DIY wearable upgrade to entertain the wearbles tinkerers, the biometrics wearables used in military and medicine, practical wearables for mass use and the home based wearables. Apple’s position in the industry? Considering the I-everything (Ipod, Iphone etc.) craze and DeVaul’s background, we’re in for a long ride of very cool, user friendly wearables. But remember, this is one section of a growing industry!
Our advice: stay positive, stay informed, keep innovating because the industry was just put on the map in big way.
Inspired by the French fairy tale “Peau d’Âne”, Valerie Lamontagne is taking interactive wearables to new fashionable heights. The tale is of a widowed king who promises his dying wife to only marry a woman equal in her beauty and attributes. The princess was the only qualified candidate and fearing a strange living situation, conspires with her fairy godmother to request a list of impossible demands of the King: a dress the color of the sky, a dress the color of the moon, a dress as bright as the sun, and finally, the hide of his marvelous donkey.
No gold-pooping donkeys here, but the dresses are friggin’ fierce. Lamontagne turns fantastical ideas into wearable creations using real time reactions to changing weather conditions.
The “Sky Dress” uses 14 tiny fans linked to a weather station to respond to the variation in wind speed and direction. Pockets of air expand in the parachute fabric to create an image of wind movement.
The “Moon Dress” conveys the changing phases of the moon using 14 glowing flowers that change color accordingly.
The 128 LED’s react to fluctuations in ultraviolet and solar radiation in the “Sun Dress”. The lights flicker on and off, imitating the varying intensity of the sun.
Our vote: we likey.
Well well well…this is very interesting. ThinkGeek has come out with yet another cool concept: The Proximity Sensing Shirts. These shirts work in pairs to scan one’s immediate area and within a few meters of the other user, will lock on and detect each other. While we don’t have all the spec’s we do know a proximity based radio frequency transmission/detection is being used. Very Bond.
We certainly appreciate the technology and application and will take notes for a similar project in progress over WW Labs: The Mona Lisa Art Installation.
Check out the ThinkGeek Locked ON -Proximity Sensing Shirts after the jump!
This is a neat DIY offered on Instructables; a switch that turns on an LED light by literally stroking the hairs of conductive and resistive thread. Using neoprene to hold each thread, the user’s strokes turns on a LED light powered by a 3V coin cell battery. Simple, practical and cost effective.
A lot of potential in the wearables world. Imagine gloves that when worn and rubbed together trigger the heating element, instantly warming the user’s hands. Could the threads be sensitive enough to detect wind movement? We’re very curious.
This is very impressive. The road to integrating technology into clothing has been a fun and interesting ride. The latest stop on this innovation train is the Textile Breadboard from PlugandWear. Weaving non-conductive yarns with metal wire, the soft and flexible material is strong enough to withstand soldering without burning and gentle enough to easily be embedded into any design. You can find the prototyping breadboard at PlugandWear in the next few weeks.
It will be fun to play with this.
Via [Fashioning Technology]
Urban fashion designer, Ecko, has come out with a new audio hoodie with an iPod controller.
The company takes advantage of the Fibretronic CONNECTEDWear soft-circuit controller and IP30 connection module.
It’s good to see more urban brands using soft-circuit technology and embracing the clothing 2.0 strategy of adding value to existing styles with wearable tech mods.
Recently this type of 3rd party integration has become more common thanks to companies like Fibretronic and QIO systems with their controllers and connectors. No information on where to buy or how much the set costs, but stay tuned for updates.
It is interesting to see many of these recognized fashion brands keep up with the times by jumping into wearables through up and coming wearable technology companies as opposed to internal R&D efforts. That is certainly a promising sign for anyone wanting to step ahead of the big boys.
Wearable innovators: don’t forget about the strictly B2B route!
We want to give a quick nodd to Calvin Harris’ Humantesizer. We saw links to this on IheartSwitch and talk2myshirt but it wasn’t until we saw it the next day on DailyMotion that we had to mention this cool project.
Calvin, a musician from across the pond, worked with his electronics friends and some bathing suit beauties to make an orchestra using conductive paint and conductive pads connected to Arduinos. This is right up our shaded alley of coolness.
For a bit of a technical explanation, the pads on the floor are painted with conductive materials and connected to Arduinos as input switches. The people are “wired” with body-safe conductive paint from Bafe Condutive. The wire runs from a foot to a hand on either side, making each person able to switch two different devices at a time.
When a person stands on a pad and touches painted hands with a person on another pad, a circuit completes and the Arduino sends signals to Max/MSP, which is a program that can connect real-world circuits to music synthesizer programs.
We didn’t know about conductive paint until the Berkeley workshop but now we’re looking into making some controlled thermochromic designs using conductive paint on either side of a semi-conductive layer. We’re still a bit new to the concept but screen printing circuits is probably much easier than sewing.
We hope to see more human orchestras in the future. If you have footage, please send it to email@example.com.
So friends, be warned. When the next youtube party has lost it’s kick, we will be whipping out the conductive paint and making some Webelow music.
We had to drop a quick mention of the Open Softwear book. This is a free book available online under the Creative Commons License. The authors go into soft circuits using the arduino as a building platform. The book is short but arguably better than some of the other books for sale. Using the arduino as the foundation for the examples gives people a great deal of flexibility in what they can do for future projects.
The soft circuit instructions are good and even the programming explanations are tame enough for all skill levels to take a stab.
This is good work.