November 4, 2015 AT 1:00 am

This Dress Can Sense Nasty Environments #WearableWednesday


This Environment Dress recently won the Next Things 2015—Conducta, a global art and technology challenge in Spain. There’s so much to like that I can hardly contain myself, so first off I would like to congratulate Maria Castellanos and Alberto Valverde for their incredible collaboration. The premise of the dress is to use open source hardware to monitor the environmental conditions of the wearer and to produce a visual display. Now, we have seen a few garments that do a bit of this, but none of them have been this fun and this clever!


The Cyndi Lauper appearance of the dress gets its charm from 3D printed modules which appear like spiraling strewn flowers. Not only do these printouts work like diffusers or smart covers for the electronics, but they also function as a way to attach the modules using small magnets. All the modules connect using plug-in cables, making it possible to place these on any dress. As an example, the modules below use servos as indicators, while others illuminate Neopixels.


Under all that plastic is a bunch of parts, including some from Adafruit. An Arduino YUN is the base, with sensors for noise, temperature, atmospheric pressure, ultraviolet radiation and carbon monoxide. Since everything is reacting in real time, the dress is ever changing. Notice that the design allows for some sensors to be directly exposed to the environment while others can be covered. Check out the video to see it in action.


There are more fun tidbits like the cool box Maria and Alberto designed to hold their product, as well as a phone/web app to view the data from the sensors. I’m encouraging you to visit their project site, especially the “Prensa” section. They are hoping to list directions to make the components, including the 3D print files, by December. Here’s to another awesome open source success story! Want to get a jump start on your environment outfit with something more compact? Check out our stitchable FLORA and all it’s matching sensors in this Learning Guide. Add NeoPixels and a speaker and you’ll have reacting lights and sounds.


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