Wearables, Week 1: Soft Circuit

I wanted to try my hand a soft switch that involved some kind of social interaction, allowing another person to complete the circuit.

Thought about this interest in embroidery, kind of painting with thread…thought of imagery that could look nice, and landed on the idea of a patch that you could wear that a friend would complete. Thinking about important relationships in our lives and how certain people impact us emotionally, and the phrase “you’ve touched my heart” came to mind. I imagined a circuit with LEDs that when you close the switch using a conductive-capacitive glove, the LEDs turn on.

Decided in terms of constraints to use felt in stead of embroidery. Laid out components and realized that I’d been spoiled with using neopixels. Luckily, just purchased Kate Hartman’s Make: Wearables book so looked back at basic electronics.


I laid out my components, putting the battery pack on the back. I wish I had a plastic one, but I didn’t have any around and apparently tinkersphere is closed on sundays. I’ve sewn a battery pack before so I tried my hand at it.


The tricky part that I’m not sure about is connecting the switch to the rest of the circuit. I’m going with interrupting the ground line. Funny how doing a complicated project makes it seem hard to do something simple.


testing the LEDs

I didn’t put a resistor on, even though I should have (theoretically on all four). Once again, what seems simple in concept at ITP is actually quite complicated.


I goofed a bit when it came to sewing the ground line, accidentally fully connecting the circuit. So I took out some of my stitching and made sure to isolate the left half of the inner heart. I checked the connections with a multimeter and all was good!



my goof up with the ground line

Here’s a video of the finished piece,


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01. February 2016 by zoe.bachman.itp
Categories: Wearables | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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