If you’re into embedded clothing this stroke sensor is for you. As demonstrated in the video after the break, stroking the threads in a particular direction will create a circuit that senses and, in this case, turns on an LED. The concept uses two conductive buses on the back of a piece of neoprene. Conductive and non-conductive threads are then added for a furry or bristly finish. When stroked perpendicular to the power buses the conductive threads come together and form a circuit.
For some reason this just seems a bit creepy to us but perhaps that’s only because we haven’t come up with the right application for the technology. We’re pretty sure that a sweatshirt with an LED marquee and a “hairy” back that you stroke to illuminate is the wrong application.
The device consists of a positive bus of conductive thread sewn onto a regular piece of fabric. A second piece of fabric separates this from a ground plane made of conductive fabric. The LED leads are then bent into a spiral and can easily be wrapped around the appropriate part of the conductor.
We’re happy to see this creative design coming from a hacker that frequents a hackerspace; Pumping Station One in Chicago. This would be a wonderful application for banners or flags at hackerspace events.
We don’t want your brains to explode, so just trust us that this is a truly one sided circuit. Being a mobius strip means that this circuit has uber geek bragging rights. Beware, your friends who have never heard of a mobius strip will argue until they are blue in the face that there are two sides to it. The circuit they chose was fairly appropriate, an LED “chaser”.
[mikamika] has put together a great tutorial on how to build this musical shirt. The whole process is covered, from taking apart the toy keyboard to laying out the circuit and creating the fabric switches. He used the same method as [plusea] for the fabric buttons and conductive thread for most of the connections. It seems as though he has actually taken [plusea]’s wearable shirt project and added some polish. His looks good enough, he might even be able to make it through an airport.
If you’ve been puzzled over a discreet, durable way to sew wiring into your clothing, then puzzle no more: [Plusea] has put together a writeup detailing how to make a USB cable partly out of stretchy cotton fabric. Although the design as detailed doesn’t give much practical use for the invention, we can think of several very effective ways of exploiting this toy. Imagine, for example, placing a USB battery pack into one pocket of a jacket, a portable digital audio recorder in the other, and a lavalier microphone in the lining, thus enabling dozens of hours of covert audio surveillance.
[ladyada] pointed us in the direction of this giant fabric keyboard built by [Maurin Donneaud]. The construction of it looks fairly simple, like the buttons used in [fbz]’s WiFi detecting backpack strap, but on a larger scale. We’ll take you through its construction, pictures and all, after the break.