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Introduction to Wearable Technology


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Slides from an hour long talk I wrote in July 2012 and presented on introducing wearable technology. It includes my thoughts on the evolution of wearable tech, lots of examples and some of my own work, questions and conclusions.

Introduction to Wearable Technology

  1. 1. Introduction to Wearable Technology Rain Ashford
  2. 2. Hello, my name is Rain and I create interactive wearables and art, working withmany flavours of microcontrollers & various components…
  3. 3. I’m interested in…  Social interaction – formal and informal events where one is put on the spot/ ecruciating circumstances: networking, bars, clubs, meet ups, conferences, etc. Building multi-sensor wearables which output data on the wearer’s physiological signs comprised of:  a logging device  sensors – tracking physiological signs: heart rate, accelerometer, temperature, etc.  visually reactive  sonically reactive  it might record sound / feedback from user  camera‘Yr In Mah Face’: temperature /mood sensing t-shirt
  4. 4. Wearable technology is a diverse area,and can be fashionable, whimsical, fun,practical, arty, serious, protective,interactive, sensing, medical, energyharvesting, communicating,musical and lots more…
  5. 5. In the beginning…Wearable technology of yore: heavy, messy, angular & clunky
  6. 6. Beam me up Scotty…..sci-fi has a lot to answer for!
  7. 7. But we’re moving on from when wearable techevoked thoughts of axe grinding cyborgs, serfrobots, toasters and space pirates…
  8. 8. Meanwhile in real life…The miniaturization of technology has changed how people build & use wearable tech &electronics; they’re no longer comprised of cold, bulky sharp, boxy & ugly components thatyou might prefer to remain hidden
  9. 9. The aesthetics & challenges oftechnology vs garments / accessories isnot trivial and need much moreresearch to get them to work together… how to manufacture, distribute and market these products.AR HMD / HUD examples
  10. 10. Though the way we are interactingwith technology is changing ourexpectations. We want ‘always on’communications, apps and devicesthat work in an ambient manner toonly alert us when needed… ..but there’s still a lot of work to be done in areas such as interoperability, sustainability and battery size / management
  11. 11. Interesting questions… What are we going to use Wearable Technology for? Will smartphones / computers end up integrated into our clothing? Ethics issues - who owns / has access to our data? Privacy & Surveillance How far will we get towards Cyborg culture - implants anyone? CuteCircuit M-Dress
  12. 12. Don’t underestimate Hacker & Maker Culture having an influence on theevolution of technologyBy inspiring a new collective of technologists and creatives to enter the tech industries
  13. 13. New business opportunities, approachesto working, commerce & online communities ..a convergence of readily available electronic components, shared knowledge through communities and open source approaches to technology has broken barriers to learning & creativity
  14. 14. Sewable ElectronicsFor me, the availability of sewable electronics & e-textiles has revolutionised the way I andmany other artists & designers work
  15. 15. the styling of some of these components has made them more attractive to work with
  16. 16. …allowing me create much moreelegant work
  17. 17. …incorporating the technology into thedesign
  18. 18. The LilyPad!Pin 1 - TX/D1Pins 2,3,4 - D2, D3, D4Pin 5 - GND or "-" (ground)Pin 6 - VCC or "+" (power)Pins 7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 - D5 through to D13Pins 16,17,18,19,20,21 - A0 through to A5 (analog pins)
  19. 19. LilyPad ArduinoMicrocontrollerWhat I combine with it: Conductive Thread E-Textiles C (ish) Programming Sensors Actuators Hacked Electronics Conductive items To make: Wearables Sound Artworks Games All Interactive
  20. 20. LilyPad Arduino Microcontroller• Fabulousness • My wish list It’s sewable!  An industrial version It’s open source – you can find  Make it cheaper the Eagle files & free code  More modules please libraries online / with IDE  Different sizes and shapes of Good number of digital & board analogue I/O  Choice of microcontrollers Great vector for encouraging  Variable voltages girls/ boys /adults/ artists /anyone / to experience  More competitors, to increase electronics innovation (Flora, Seeedstudio) It’s round (dismisses the idea that  Development of washable electronics are sharp grey and conductive thread cold) Enthusiastic & helpful community
  21. 21. Sensors…The availability of sensors in particular that allowed me to bring my ideas to fruition
  22. 22. DIY Sensors (and actuators)! there’s lots of information out there on how to make your own!
  23. 23. Components: Sensors vs. ActuatorsA sensor is an input device / an actuator an output deviceSensors Actuators Input: stimulus / A physical  Input: electrical signal - quantity, property, or current, voltage, phase, condition which is measured frequency, etc, Output: electrical signal -  Output: mechanical (force, current, voltage, phase, pressure, displacement) or frequency display function (light, display,Variations: output can dial indication, etc)sometimes be displacement:thermometers, magnetostrictiveand piezoelectric sensors.Some sensors combine sensing*and* actuation.
  24. 24. Actuators for wearable technology include… LEDs  Electroluminescent Wire LCD / OLED Display  Electroluminescent Servos Panels Motors Piezoelectric buzzers Speakers
  25. 25. Sensors for wearable technology include… Optical, Light & Sound  GPS Temperature & Humidity  Compass / magnetic field Energy Harvesting  Weight Radiation / Environment  Pressure / Force Heart Rate  RFID Proximity / object  Electric Current / detection Potential Gas & Liquid / Chemical  Touch Inertial  WiFi Biosensor  EEG
  26. 26. Sensors, actuators, industry and creatives - bringing it all together In my research I’m starting to note key areas of sensor & actuator usage, against groups & areas of usage…
  27. 27. Sports & interest in wellbeing/selfmonitoring has made much headwayinto pushing Wearable Tech into themainstream, especially as many gadgetswork with smartphones…2012 Olympics: Lolo Jones (US) used usingmotion-detecting sensors to trigger highspeed video cameras in her 100m hurdle bid. 2012 Olympics: Mimi Cesar (UK) gymnast, used a `MotivePro’ by Birmingham City University, a vibrating sensor suit to track and record her movements. ..unsurprisingly Apple has taken note (pic Dec 11)!
  28. 28. Some favourite examples of sensing / active clothes & Elena Corchero Vintage Solar Fan &accessories … ParasolLight sensing dresses byRainbow Winters:uses thermochromaticreactive to light, colourchanging inks Dhani Sutanto’s Oyster RFID pass ring for using on London Transport
  29. 29. Sensing Art and Performance pieces… Elena Corchero Vintage Solar Fan & Parasol Ricardo O’ Nascimento: “PAPARAZZI LOVER” a reactive dress that responds to the flash of a cameraRainbow Winters:Thunderstorm Dress: icardo O’lights up to sound Nascimento: “UNTANGLE ME” dress is a playful twist on a garment come alive
  30. 30. ..lets not forget Wearable 3D Printing! Naim Josefiand Souzan Youssouf, Beckmans College of Design. 3D bikini by Continuum Fashion, printed in nylon 12 printed to order from Continuum’s Shapeways shopIris van Herpen & Daniel Widrig’samazing dresses! Andreia Chaves’ printed shoes
  31. 31. Energy Harvesting clothing: Energy harnessing space suits: NASA Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology initiative. The suits incorporate piezoelectric zinc-oxide nanowires which creates a charge in response to physical strain like bending or twisting. In-shoe device: University of Wisconsin- MadisonAndrew Schneider’s solar bikini retrofitted withphotovoltaic film strips sewn together in series withconductive thread An in-shoe device designed to harvest the energy that is created by walking, and store it for use in mobile electronic devices
  32. 32. Medical: Epidermal Electronics 1960s wearable insulin pump Electronic tattoo, University of Illinois Monitors electrophysiological signals associated with the heart, other muscles and brain activity 2012 artificial pancreas & insulin pumps in development as shown by Gil de Paula of Pancreum at WT Conference 2012
  33. 33. I <3 0X0: an interactive artwork, game, musical fancy and experiment in conductive VelcroI wanted to create something interactive, as Icould find no other documentation forconductive Velcro, some sort of playthingseemed an interesting idea and after somepondering I decided on a 3 x 3 grid system
  34. 34. Hacking existing tech & combining sensors has allowed me to make pieces such as‘You Make My <3 Flutter’: a proximity detecting, heart rate sensing ‘techlace’ visualisingphysical signs
  35. 35. And for looking at social interaction -‘Yr In Mah Face’: temperature /mood sensing t-shirt- uses Celsius temperature data from a sensor, averages it, then visualises the results viaLEDs.
  36. 36. I’m also interested in practical uses - Don’t Break My Heart is a wearable, colour-codeddistance warning system prototype for cyclists to wear on their back
  37. 37. Summary: exciting time for e-textiles & wearable tech Availability of sewable electronics is revolutionising the work of artists & designers Self-monitoring movement i.e. Quantified Self is pushing wearable tech into the mainstream Hackspaces & online communities are helping demystify electronics & coding Open Source ethos is sharing & making knowledge more accessible Small Maker start-ups are changing the face of tech entrepreneurs Sewable electronics are inspiring a broader demographic to become interested in electronics & coding School age students are investigating electronics & code via e-textiles and wearable tech
  38. 38. Summary: wearable tech will be improved by Necessity for more standards and classifications Sustainability – recycling, reusing, repurposing - supply chain isn’t yet set up for wearable tech A lot of focus on the technology, but not enough on what the consumer wants: design, uses, size Marketing focus – sales, dissemination, tech know how - how do we help the public understand and use? Developments in battery / power supply tech: less bulky, better longevity, lighter, comfortable Washable circuits, sensors and microcontrollers – to gain acceptability they need robustness and logivity
  39. 39. Those interesting questions again… What are we going to use Wearable Technology for? Will smartphones / computers end up integrated into our clothing? Ethics issues - who owns / has access to our data? Privacy & Surveillance How far will we get towards Cyborg culture - implants anyone?
  40. 40. Thank you for your attention! @Rainycat Rain Ashford 2012