It’s been a couple of weeks, but I’m back with prototype of our Bestie sweater!
We quickly realized that the x-bees were not perfectly compatible with the Adafruit Flora we were working with, so in order to get a working protoype going, we decided to create a touch sensor instead of a wireless one.
Since our coloured lights were also so finicky in all of our tests, we decided to use the simple white LED lights from the Lily Pad Development Board.
To create the touch sensor, we decided to use conductive fabric to interrupt our current. We first tested this our using aligator clips before we committed to sewing the lights and Flora onto our sweater.
It worked! So we decided to start sewing.
Next we cut out a little circle of conductive fabric and split it in two and sewed them onto the left shoulder blade. We took conductive thread, sewed it into the VBATT hole, and connected it to one of the conductive fabric circle halves. We then sewed a new piece of conductive thread from the unused half circle, and connected it through all of the positive ends of the LED lights.
By interrupting the circuit using the conductive fabric half circles, when someone wearing conductive thread on their right wrist, the circuit will complete when they put their arm around the person wearing the sweater.
To complete the circuit, we sewed conductive thread through the GND hole directly into all of the negative ends of the LED Lights.
Here’s a diagram:
After all of the sewing, we made a big bright pink heart and places it over our LED lights.
…and VOILA! We have light!
Here is the half circles on the back left shoulder of the sweater.
View of the inside.
View of the outside
Stephanie and I!
And some video, so you can see it in action!
Not bad for a prototype! We were told by Sarah Simpkin the Interactive Design Librarian at Innisfil Public Library that Kat Hartman of OCADU has been developing a Nudgeable Accessory Kit that will come with two ALREADY programmed x-bees! This will definitely make our dream of wirelessly connected bestie sweaters much more attainable in the future!