eTextile Tutorial – Audience Jacket

One of my favorite wearable tech resources is OCAD’s (Ontario College of Art & Design University) Social Body Lab headed by one of the most prominent persons in the wearable tech space – Kate Hartman, co-creator of the LilyPad XBee and Assistant Professor of Wearable & Mobile Technology at OCAD.

Examples of the amazing works coming out of the Social Body Lab are the Stock Market Lingerie by Erin Lewis, the Belly Dancer Costume by Loretta Faveri or the Breath Scarf by Hilary Hayes to name a few.

During my recent scan of the Social Body Lab site the Audience Jacket Tutorial caught my attention instantly as it demonstrates highly complex wearable techniques in astonishing details and simplicity.

This tutorial explains the steps needed to form a complex system with components like the LilyPad Mainboard, LilyPad XBee and LilyPad Accelerometer and the importance of a well planned layout for the conductive traces to ensures a hassle free routing of electricity on a garment. Not a easy task even for seasoned eTextile designer.

Reading through the tutorial I am fascinated by the detailed explanation organized in easy to follow steps and the well structured recourse links for materials, the configuration of the XBee link, the ‘copy-paste’ software code, upload procedures and settings on the computer, cut pattern for the garment, ……. It’s an amazingly well organized tutorial.

How does the Audience Jacket work? Accelerometers in the jacket’s sleeve transmit movement to a computer which replays recorded sound of hundreds of cheers, claps or “Boooo” depending on the arm movement.

The Audience Jacket serves as vehicle to teach a great part of eTextile system design and prototyping. If you follow this tutorial you learn in no time all the essentials of eTextile crafting and get rewarded with a big applause from your Audience (Jacket).

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