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Sensing Wearables

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In these slides I give an introduction to LilyPad Arduino and go on to talk about the myraid selection of sensors and actuators that can be used in wearable technology, followed by some examples of current wearable technology projects. I sum up with some of my thoughts on the state of play in wearable technology and what could be improved. I gave this talk at the opening plenary of Quantified Self Europe Conference in 2011.

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Sensing Wearables

  1. 1. Sensing Wearablesexploring sensors for wearable technology Rain Ashford | http://rainycatz.wordpress
  2. 2. Agenda Introduction  Hello!  Microcontrollers  Makers, Hackers & communities Sensors vs. Actuators  What’s a sensor?  What’s an actuator? Examples of usage in wearable technology Conclusions on wearable technology
  3. 3. I create interactive wearables and art, working with many flavours ofmicrocontrollers & various components…
  4. 4. LilyPad Arduino Microcontroller Conductive Thread E-Textiles C (ish) Programming Sensors Actuators Hacked Electronics Conductive items Wearables Sound Artworks Games All Interactive
  5. 5. LilyPad Arduino Microcontroller Fabulousness Could be improved! It’s sewable!  It’s not cheap! It’s open source – you can find  More modules please the Eagle files & code libraries online  Different sizes and shapes of Good number of digital & board analogue I/O  Different microcontrollers Great vector for encouraging girls/ boys /adults/ artists /anyone / to experience  An industrial version with electronics possibility of using different voltages It’s round (dismisses the idea that electronics are sharp grey  More competitors, to increase and cold) innovation Enthusiastic & helpful community  Different types of I/O
  6. 6. A few examples of my wearableelectronics & artworks…
  7. 7. There’s a fantastic community for hardware & code hackers, makers & enthusiasts in the UK
  8. 8. ..oh yes I was going to talk about sensors!
  9. 9. Components: Sensors vs. ActuatorsA sensor is an input device / an actuator an output deviceSensors Actuators Input: stimulus / A physical  Input: electrical signal - current, quantity, property, or condition voltage, phase, frequency, etc, which is measured  Output: mechanical (force, Output: electrical signal - pressure, displacement) or display current, voltage, phase, frequency function (light, display, dial indication, etc)Variations: output can sometimes bedisplacement:thermometers, magnetostrictive andpiezoelectric sensors.Some sensors combine sensing *and*actuation.
  10. 10. Actuators for wearable technology include… LEDs  Electroluminescent Wire LCD / OLED Display Servos Motors Piezoelectric buzzers Speakers Electroluminescent Panels
  11. 11. 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 detection  Electric Current / Potential Gas & Liquid / Chemical  Touch Inertial  WiFi Biosensor  EEG
  12. 12. Some examples of projects using sensors in wearable technology…
  13. 13. Sports McLaren Human Telemetry SystemOriginally developed for F1, also used in sports such as football, rugby, & cycling Combines several sensors:  Heart  Blood Oxygen  Respiratory  Temperature Future:  Looking into core temp via swallow-able thermometer pill to combat heat exhaustion  Sensors woven into fabrics  Bespoke sensor shirts
  14. 14. Medical University of Illinois: Epidermal ElectronicsLess than the width of a human hair, adheres to the skin like a temporary tattoo Currently in development to monitor:  Heart  Brain  Muscle activity  Could also be used for gaming Powered from energy from:  Solar Cells  Electromagnetic Radiation Features:  Stretchy – moves with skin  Less invasive than traditional sensors  No gels / sticky pads / wires  Adheres to the skin via water soluble plastic
  15. 15. Military / Extreme EnvironmentThe Australian National University: SLIVER cells Lightweight and tough bifacial solar panels Features:  Lightweight – paper/ hair thickness  Tough  Bifacial – absorbs light on both sides  Flexible  Can be used in various environmental conditions
  16. 16. Self Monitoring / Lifestyle Nottingham Trent University: Micro‐device Encapsulation TechnologyElectronically Active Intelligent Yarn for Self Monitoring, Medical, Fashion & Industrial Sensor Yarns might include:  Strain measurement  Temperature Measurement  Fluid / Gas Measurement  Radiation Sensing  Light measurement  Acoustic measurement  Motion detection  Pressure measuement
  17. 17. Fashion / Performance Rainbow Winters: Sensing FashionUses sensing inks and components for fashion & performance garments Garments include use of:  Thermochromatic ink  Hydrochromic ink  Sound sensing  Electroluminescents  Holographic fabrics
  18. 18. Art / Making KOBAKANT: How To Get What You WantOnline database of range of wearable technology and soft circuit solutions http://www.kobakant.at Sensor making instructions inc:  Conductive PomPom  Crochet Button  Crochet Tilt Poteniometer  Fabric Stretch Sensors  Felted Crochet Pressure  Knit Contact Switch  Knit Accelerometer
  19. 19. Wearable Tech / E-Textiles An emerging technology Is at a stage similar to where personal computing was in the 80s, but it’s on the verge of an explosion of ideas & manufacture Interest in sensing wearables is predominant in entertainment, sport, medical, extreme envirnoments, military and lifestyle areas and is where the funding opportunities are Obviously lots of opportunity al for innovation and room for more start-ups/creators – but artists and makers need more industry support working as sole traders with expensive components & flaky business arrangements Exciting advancements in research for creators – such as embeded micro components, MEMS, inks and fabric pick & place sewing machines Conductive embroidery / weave which has embeded LEDs, electroluminescents, sensors & acutators will change the aesthetics of designing circuitry
  20. 20. Wearable Tech / E-Textiles will be improved by… Emerging tech could thrive faster with more open source collaboration and sharing of ideas Smart fabrics & wearable technology is still looking for a killer app to bring it closer to mainstream acceptability / integration 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
  21. 21. Many thanks! @Rainycathttp://rainycatz.wordpress.com Rain Ashford 2011

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