The Reconfigurable Costume from Leah Buechley

Leah Buechley showed us how to make truly textile electronic elements with her e-textile construction kit. Now Leah shows us how this technology can be used to create almost ‘out of this world’ clothing: a reconfigurable costume.


The costume consists of a torso piece and an assortment of sensing appendages that can be snapped to the torso. What brilliant idea and what a sensible blend between the more techno term of reconfigurable and the fashion term costume.

Sensors in the appendages include muscle flex sensors, accelerometers, bend sensors and touch sensors. Sensor data is relayed to a computer, via a Bluetooth module embedded in the torso, where it can be used to control or generate music, video and other multimedia content.

The costume is form-fitting and stretchy. The electronic modules are kept as small as possible so they do not interfere with the dancer.

The costume was used in an improvisational performance this month to control a player piano. This performance was a collaboration with Michael Theodore, a professor in the music department, and Nicole Predki, a graduate student in the dance department.

Click here for a movie of the performance. Be patient, it’s 150 MByte file.

May we see in future more of such playful and creative applications for Wearable Electronic technology and give Leah a big thumps-up for this creation and her inspiration for the rest of us.

[via: twenty1f]

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