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September 10, 2014 AT 1:00 am

Bird Skirt will Lead You on Migration #WearableWednesday

I’m a birder, so I can’t help but fall totally in love with this creation — the Augmented Skirt. Designed by Birce Özkan, the skirt imitates the ability of birds to migrate by sensing Earth’s magnetic fields. Feathers on the skirt gently raise as the wearer walks in a northern direction. It’s part of the exciting field of biomimicry, and there’s certainly a lot we humans can learn from nature.

Birce is an MFA student at Parsons for Design and Technology, and she combined some natural elements with electronic ones to bring this skirt alive.  Black rooster feathers have been meticulously layered on a denim skirt, while much of the electronics — an Arduino Micro, Adafruit triple-axis Magnetometer and battery — are fastened to a belt. Two servos control groups of feathers on either side of the skirt, which rise and fall depending on the direction the user walks. It’s a clever use of electronics and could be fun for bird inspired letter-boxing or geocaching games.

Bird Skirt

Birce is hoping to use a flexible circuit for her next version of the skirt, and she’s very interested in the future of this field.

 I strongly believe that the future of the body will be really exciting, because we have our garment as an interface. It is a great opportunity to create new products that enable new human experiences.

Birce has taken off with her wearables and hopefully you’ve found yourself suddenly attracted to magnetic fields. Read up on our triple axis magnetometer, and you can get your wearables reacting to direction. If you have a more specific location in mind, you may want to make our Citi Bike Helmet that uses GPS and a magnetometer. Get out and explore a little!


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