This Dress Clears Personal Space #WearableWednesday
How many times have you been in a crowded area and felt suffocated? Well, no more, thanks to artist Kathleen McDermott. Her Urban Armor #2 allows for some unusual dress movement. When people get too close, the bottom skirt moves outward, much like an umbrella unfolding. An Arduino is used to collect data from PIR sensors and then reacts with servos to expand or contract the plastic armature of the dress.
This work is part of the artist’s series of wearable electronics for women, “playful pieces that help women assert control over their personal/public space”. A visit to McDermott’s site shows other pieces, a scarf that detects pollution and protects the wearer’s face, and also a hat that drops a net of infrared LEDs when surveillance cameras are sensed. Although these pieces are playful, they do suggest issues that people surrender to daily. How much of our health is cut short due to pollution? Why do we allow ourselves to be interrogated by cameras constantly? The beauty of making is that technology can help to fight these battles; Arduino can be used as playfully or as seriously as one wants.
Want to get started on your own challenge? Take a look at our PIR Motion Sensor tutorial. You’ll find fun examples like a Super Mario music playing room greeter in a hacked air freshener. Hmmm, seems like a security theme here — go for it.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.