What if clothing could do more than just relate your identity and protect you from the elements? Zhen Liu has higher aspirations, clothing that can convey emotions and movement. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications at NYU and decided to take her ideas to fabric, creating a t-shirt–Digi-Weirdo. The shirt uses LEDs and responds to movement, which allows for the possibility of patterns to communicate emotion.
I was exploring how to establish a statement of identity and guiding communication.
Basically through programming the wearer can create a visual language. The shirt uses a FLORA microcontroller, as well as it’s matching accelerometer to analyze body movements and translate them into a pattern for the LEDs.
It’s interesting to see Zhen’s original board for this concept, and you can clearly see how she starts with ideas communicated by clothing for youth, and then extends to something more interactive and personal. I specifically like her choice of the inverted triangle for the base of the LEDs, which adds to the idea of identity. This piece of fabric also provides a strong foundation for the LEDs so they aren’t affected by the stretch of the fabric.
Zhen has definitely had fun exploring communication with her shirt and it seems to be helpful when meeting people–it sparks conversation. This is just one example of her love of data.
When designing data visualization projects, I focus on making data powerful by exploring its deeper meaning and relationship with humanity. I also care about providing good user experience when letting them explore the data. It leads me into the concept of ‘Performing Data’ and ‘Living Data’.
I’m excited for Zhen and I’m looking forward to seeing her future data visualization projects. This shirt is definitely a great use of FLORA, and I can’t help but mention that this is a sound microcontroller for any wearables project. So, if you are involved with a project for your university or you just want to make a super awesome costume, this should be at the top of your parts list. The newest version includes a built in NeoPixel, so you can quickly create tests that result in a blinky colorful LED. That’s what I call a fun night. Get hacking!
Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!
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