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December 14, 2016 AT 1:00 am

This Innovative Tech Dress Brings Colorful Diary to Life #WearableWednesday #WearableTech @ITP_NYU

Diary Dress Tech CU

In her thesis, Jingwen Zhu asks, “What are you wearing?” She discusses how people generally dress for an activity, while what they really wish to show is individuality. It is this challenge of revealing self that she addresses with her project for ITP – NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Garments are diaries – different dresses say different things, some garments connect us to specific memories, we personalize our clothing the same way we personalize the pages of our journals.

My Heart on My Dress is a novel expression of these themes. It explores personal expression and a narrative version of quantified self through a combination of traditional textiles with innovative technologies.

Diary Tech Dress Hero

My Heart on My Dress uses silk screened thermochromatic ink to reveal symbols which correspond with Jingwen’s diary as a live visual feed. So, not only is the designer adept at wearable tech, but she also has an intriguing journal style. The tech includes an Adafruit FLORA microcontroller, the matching Bluefruit LE module, as well as heating pads and her own PCBs to connect everything.

Diary Dress Circuit

Jingwen’s project is a culmination of interests and her projects leave a definitive trail. Earlier on we blogged a dress she displayed at World Maker Faire, Dressing Everything, that used BLE to visualize data. More recently she created a web app Every Little Thing that tracks and visualizes daily activities and emotions using geometric shapes. You can see how these two ideas come together nicely in her current dress, and it becomes apparent that the world is moving in the direction of wearable data to be seen by others. However, what I enjoy most about Jingwen’s work is that it remains a mystery unless it is revealed. Check out her thesis presentation, and if you want to start exploring wearable tech in a similar way, the best thing to do is to grab a copy of Getting Started With Adafruit FLORA. What do you want your clothing to reveal about you? Surprise us!

Adafruit Flora Book


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