Textile electronic hasn’t left it’s infancy state yet but there is already another electronic revolution on the horizon in form of Paper electronic.
Leah Buechley who is one of the main driving sources in the e-textile innovation not least with her creation of the LilyPad system has reached out to paper substrate.
Adapting the LilyPad concept and replacing textiles with paper Leah uploaded a series of photos to her Flickr stream inclusive a short video showing how Paper Computing works.
Painting a picture with conductive ink and connecting LilyPad paper modules via small magnetic contact points.
I like the idea of the magnetic connection as you might have seen on my blog post yesterday as those magnets make a reliable electrical contact and are very easy to attach and take off.
Smartly integrated into clothing design (or paintings), the magnetic attachment concept gives even greater freedom to ‘reconfigure’ our future clothing.
A year ago a team of MIT researcher, Marcelo Coelho and Pattie Maes in collaboration with Joanna Berzowska (well known in the wearable electronic space) and Lyndl Hall introduced the Pulp-Based Computing project, a series of explorations that combine smart materials, papermaking and printing.
By integrating electrically active inks and fibers during the papermaking process, it is possible create sensors and actuators that behave, look, and feel like paper.
The electronically-enhanced paper is build up from a first layer of paper pulp, added on this are wires or patterns of conductive ink and top it off with another layer of pulp. Pressing and drying this sandwich leaves electronics embedded within the paper.
Ok, so far with our excursion into the paper domain. No worry our dear reader, we are not including paper electronic into our field of coverage but the example of using conductive ink to create design elements and use them for electronic signal transfer is highly interesting to explore in the e-textile field and the magnetic attachments is a very appealing concept that should be in the creative toolbox of future interactive fashion designer.