This project is called “Inner Voice” which is an e-textile project consisting of a glove connected to a bracelet as a signal sender, 8 pieces of light modules in tetrahedron shapes installed on a dress and a belt as a signal receiver. With “Inner Voice”, we can express self-conscious emotions in a more polite way without ruining others’ moods whether in a party or a public space simply by using different kinds of hand gestures to light up various patterns remotely. For this project, I replaced all the jumper wires and breadboards with conductive fabrics, yarns and self-made PCB shields to make everything in order.
Sometimes there is a situation where it is embarrassing or difficult to talk about personal feelings through plain words during a conversation. Is there any way to inform others about self discomfort without offending them? According to this, I came up with an idea that is it possible to express ourselves through light controlled by our gestures?
For example, by defining certain hand gestures and matching them to specific light patterns, people can understand our current thinking, stop continuing bothering us and leave us alone for getting better.
For the interaction, I defined 5 gestures vs. 5 light patterns for the project. Two of them are difficult to distinguish from static pictures but easier to tell the difference from the project video shown above.
The first gesture is by pressing the thumb, all the modules are lit up in red color.
Then by pressing the pointer, all the modules are lit up in blue.
And then by pressing the middle finger, all the modules are lit up in green.
The fourth one is that by pressing the pointer and the ring finger, there will be a white light going through each module for a while.
The fifth one is that by pressing the pointer, middle and ring fingers, all the modules are lighted up in slowly changing colors.
- ESP32 Microcontrollers: the main controllers used for wireless one-way communication.
- Flora RGB Smart NeoPixel: sewed on the surface of 8 triangular light modules.
- Conductive Fabrics & Yarns: used for replacing jumper wires.
Shield Fabrication #
After finishing designing my shields in KiCad software, the fabrication steps of my PCB shields were that first I milled the boards with a CNC machine, debugged the milled traces with a multimeter and then soldered certain headers on them. I fabricated 3 different shields which took me 12 hours in total to wait and do the post-processing.
Textile Fabrication #
After that, I ironed some conductive fabrics in linear shape on the surface of the bracelet and belt controllers, handsewed the shields with conductive yarns and installed snap buttons for removability. For this project, I prefer to make every element removable so that I can flexibly replace or add new components without tearing down the existing ones.
Light Modules Fabrication #
For the light modules, I applied a simple pattern which requires only one piece of fabrics to form a triangular pyramid. I first sewed the triangular structure, measured the position of the NeoPixel light PCB, ironed conductive fabrics, handsewed the PCB and then installed 4 snap buttons in each of the light modules.