Pillow Fight with Smart Robes! #WearableWednesday


Back in May I reported on Smart Hoodie–a texting sweatshirt by NYU student Alina Balean. Well, she’s at it again with Smart Robes–robes that play a game called Pillow Fight Level 2.0. Sounds fun, right? Alina created these wearables with teammate Timothy Sanders for the Wearable Game Controllers class at NYU’s Poly Game Innovation Lab. Alina describes the gaming aspect.

The objective of the game is to “wake up” your opponent by attempting to “snooze” them. You have to snooze them three times so they lose the game and have to “wake up”. But, it’s not that easy! The game was developed to be played like the game of fencing. Each player has only one chance to strike per turn, but each player doesn’t know who will go next until their light turns green and they are open for attack.


The robes use FLORA microcontrollers, NeoPixels, and Bluetooth modules. The gray fabric patches have large stitches of conductive thread that serve a special purpose.

Each player has a set of touch sensors on their shoulders; they are reaching for that. But the light cloud attached to the front of the robe randomly changes to allow alternative players to be in defense of offensive mode. If you strike and succeed your opponents life lights reduce – whoever has zero left loses the match.

Humorously, the pillow serves no smart feature except for the fact that it can prevent blows. I wonder how many hits the two sustained in the troubleshooting process–must have been hilarious. I can only hope that Alina will put a tutorial on her site, because I don’t think anyone should be left out of the fun. Want a head start on the action? You should check out our tutorial on Capacitive Touch with Conductive Fabric and FLORA. You can make a wearable game controller of your own. Bam! Biff!

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