Feeling Stressed? You Need the Social Escape Dress #WearableWednesday #wearabletech #art #Arduino

The Social Escape Dress

It has been way too long since I checked in on artist Kathleen McDermott, but I was reminded of her wonderful wearables thanks to a post in Racked. She has been growing her Urban Armor projects and is now on #7—The Social Escape Dress. This dress emits fog when the wearer is stressed, creating a tunnel of wispy smoke that blends with the white funnel shape of the fabric. Here’s the artist’s description:

The Social Escape Dress stands in contrast to commercial wearable technologies, which aim to facilitate self-optimization, dealing with stress by trying to create more efficient humans. The Social Escape Dress aims to make feelings of stress visible, a gesture than can be seen as one of protest, playfulness, or simply as a diversion tactic to defuse the stressful situation.

The dress uses a Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) sensor connected to an Arduino to trigger nine mini fog machines. That’s what I call an interesting piece of wearable tech!

The Social Escape Dress Fogging

Kathleen keeps a separate site for her Urban Armor projects not only to be open source with tutorials and code, but also to crowdsource related projects from other women. In fact, one of my fave projects listed is the Cinnabrooch, which creates the delicious aroma of cinnamon buns when the wearer perspires (hello, moisture sensor). I feel like Kathleen must be related to me with her urban foodie humor and I do believe I will come up with a project for her site. I hope you are also inspired to create some urban armor. You might start by thinking about what bothers you walking around your environment, or conversely, what makes you smile as you stroll. Relate that thing to your physical body and you’ve got an idea for a wearable. One piece of hardware that may come in handy for your project is our FLORA microcontroller. It has many options for sensors that can enable your wearable to react to its surroundings. So, check out our FLORA learning guide and be inspired to create your own art about your neighborhood. Show us what you make!

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