RFID Jacket Flashes the Crowd at Make Fashion 2014

RFID-DRESS

The [RADLab team] has created an eye-opening RFID jacket for Make Fashion 2014. For this project, [Dan Damron, Chris Zaal, and Ben Reed] of RADLab teamed up with designer [Laura Dempsey] to create a jacket which responded both to a dancer on the runway and the audience itself. RADLab stands for Radio Frequency Identification Application Development Lab, so you can probably guess that RFID was their weapon of choice for interaction. We’ve got a bit of RFID experience here at Hackaday, having recently used it at The Gathering in LA. The [RADLab team] didn’t skimp on processing power for this jacket. A BeagleBone Black running Debian controls the show. The BeagleBone receives data from a Thingmagic M6e 4 port UHF RFID Reader. The M6e is connected to 4 directional antennas. The BeagleBone responds differently depending on which RFID card is read, and which antenna reads it. With the data processed, the BeagleBone then issues commands to a teensy 3.0, which controls  WS2811 “Neopixel” addressable RGB LEDs sewn into the jacket.

During the fashion show, the jacket wearer danced with a second model who had RFID tags sewn into his t-shirt. The LED clusters on the front, back and sleeves of the jacket would light up, and change color and flash frequency based upon which tag and antenna got a read. Once the performance was over, the audience was encouraged to pick up tags and interact with the jacket themselves. The software was still very much beta, so the [RADLab team] monitored everything via WiFi and restarted the software when necessary.

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Sonar navigation jacket

sonar_jacket

[Lynne] had this crazy idea to build a piece of clothing that would give you feedback about your surroundings using sonar. She started with a carefully selected thrift store jacket. She wanted something that looked good and also provided plenty of places to hide electronics. She used the LilyPad system, with a vibration pad and a sonar range finder. When the system detects an object within a certain distance directly in front of the wearer, it warns them with some vibration. Not only is it practical, it looks pretty cool too. Did we mention she designs clothing?

She notes, in the comments section, that while it can detect an obstacle, it cannot detect a void. How could she detect a drop in the floor or a step down?

Turn signal jacket how-to


[Leah Buechley], whose work we’ve been covering since way back when, has built this lovely turn signal jacket. The project photos were posted in March, but she’s just added a well illustrated project guide. The jacket is based around a LilyPad Arduino, a lightweight Arduino board with radial pads designed to be used in wearable projects. You make your connections by sewing conductive thread through the pads. The how-to covers attaching the LilyPad parts properly and then insulating the wires with fabric paint after you’ve verified they work.

The guide has an interesting discussion about placing the power supply. The 4-ply silver coated thread used has a resistance of approximately 14ohms/foot. So, if you place the power supply one foot from the LilyPad, the two wires combine for 28ohms, causing a 1.4V drop. The power supply is only 5V, which means the LilyPad will be 3.6V. A voltage of 3.3V will cause the Arduino to reset. If your resistance is too high, you’ll have to add more thread.

The power supply on this jacket is under the collar. Each cuff has a single button plus an LED. The button will make the jacket flash the direction for 15 seconds (also indicated on the sleeve LED). If you press both buttons at the same time, it switches to night mode by flashing both directions at the same time to make you more visible.

Rear view jacket


Is your popped collar so epic it emulates horse blinders? Are punk teens always skitching your coattails? Are you constantly moonwalking into power poles, trash cans, and the elderly? [Paul Coudamy]‘s Hard-Wear Jacket solves all of these problems. It has a micro-camera embedded in the back of the neck and streams live video to a sleeve mounted monitor. The goal is to expand the perception of the wearer and how they interact with the environment. We know this is just a small step and doubt many people will be scrambling to never turn their neck again. It’s something interesting to contemplate though: how will people behave when brain taps allow their peripheral vision to have the same clarity as normal vision?

[via Gizmodo]