Project: NeoTribe

Breeeeth, the final.

Pipe is a masters student that is beyond stressed in the midst of her final hand-ins before going into summer. Next up on the list of things to do is move out of her flat and start the thesis for her FMP—needless to say she feels like she doesn’t have a second to even breathe. While working on submitting her portfolio, she was in the studios at school and just on her last nerve with stress—even if it was a quick one, Pipe needed a break. She went out to the MA space to grab her BREEEETH robe and take… More

IBM Critique and Testing

Testing with the group, tutors and Rania and Ricci from IBM was very successful and insightful. Across the board, all users found the wearable to bring an instant feeling of calmness. Here are some of the take-aways that will be included for the Ars Electronica prototype: Symbiotic: One user asked me, “Why haven’t you thought to use a more symbiotic approach where the sounds are based on something like your heart rate pattern or your own breathing?” The purpose of this garment is to help you find a sense of calm whilst in the midst of anxious situations, stress or… More

Fabric decisions

For this final prototype, I steered away from my original idea of having a blanket/poncho, and opted to use a lighter more fluid fabric. The reasoning behind this is fairly simple: This lightweight fabric can barely be felt on the skin causing no distractions or discomfort while trying to meditate It can be packed very small and put into a bag for when you might need it on-the-go Having a fabric that looks like a garment makes it more inconspicuous if your in need of some calming breathing whilst out and about—no one would know that your meditating! Can be… More

Fabric Button Success.

Putting together a quick and dirty fabric button, I was able to test whether or not a button would be able to play the track. Unfortunately the sound is extremely quiet for the headphones, but once I squeeze together the fabric button, the gong track plays in the headphones. More

Sensors.

Several sensors have been considered now to get the best response for the LilyPad to play the meditation sounds. 1: LIGHT SENSOR This sensor works great with the LilyPad MP3 and has code readily available on how to tie the two together. Needs to have a well-defined change in light source to properly work. Not ideal for the purposes of this wearable because what if someone is deciding to meditate in a dark room? That would render this sensor absolutely useless. 2: TEMPERATURE SENSOR The code for the light sensor can be dissected to work with the temperature sensor with… More

Initial planning problems

Using an FTDI board along with the LilyPad MP3 board the MPR121 capacitive sensor WILL work, but quite unreliably. First issue I keep running into is that the LilyPad throws errors about 3-4 seconds into playing a track when connected to the FTDI vs. using a lithium battery. The second, and more important issue is that the MPR is overly sensitive and has 12 nodes, when I only really need 2 nodes. This keeps throwing unwanted touch calls causing the tracks to trigger incorrectly. Another issue I seem to be facing in my original planning, is with the fabric speakers. More

Robe plan

My plan is to use conductive thread to connect the MPR121 to touch-points at the wrist-openings for the robe. I will use fabric coil speakers sewn into the back on either side of the LilyPad and the MPR121. More

Prototype 3: touchie feelie

So, I have realised the light sensor that I was looking at in the last prototype is not going to work for this wearable. The purpose of the wearable is to help with meditation, AND what if someone decides to meditate in the dark—light sensing, I don’t think so! I have moved onto the MPR121 touch sensor. I already know that the LilyPad MP3 is re-programmable from the prototype with the light sensors (and the rotary board code that’s in the getting-started write-up on sparkfun) so I know ultimately I’ll be able to play with the code to use the… More

Prototype 2 in the works.

I have sorted out all of the pieces I will need and the code to be able to trigger the tracks using light sensors. HOWEVER, I have been hitting a lot of road blocks, one major one being that I am finding it difficult to find a 5V FTDI board that connects to the LilyPad. It’s time to call in the big guns (aka my tutors) to troubleshoot this. I also cannot get my hands on the small speakers and will start to look into making fabric DIY speakers now instead. This is the code that I am… More

Protoype 1.

Step 1: Make a sound. I have been playing with prototyping using the new LilyPad MP3 trigger. For the final project, this will be mounted inside of the meditation poncho along with 3 light or touch sensors and 2 speakers. The LilyPad MP3 is great because it uses a MicroSD to store up to 5 tracks which play based off of 5 different trigger points on the LilyPad. The board comes ready to hook up and play, but for the next prototype there will need to be an additional control board to tie in the sensors. I recorded a track of… More