Hard Circuit and Soft Circuit Wearable

Here are two week long projects that I completed. I had quite a bit of fun working on these despite the lack of stable space to work in.

Soft Circuit:

The soft circuit is designed as a simple switch within the garment, using a native gesture to interact with the electronics. The switch is built around the motion of pulling up and taking off the hood. When the hood is off it will connect the lights to their power supply and when the hood is on it will turn off the lights. This allows the wearer to ‘go dark’ when they want to be hidden by the hood and stand out when they are out in the open.

Wearing it

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Wearing this one felt easy, the electronics were flat against the shirt I was using and I didn’t feel them once they were on. The only thing that stood out was the large battery pack as it was a little awkward in its placement. It did get a little warm in-doors and I din’t want to go outside.

One thing I had to redo during development is the method by which I connected the LEDs. This is always a hard part for me when using soft circuits. I started with:

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Which caused a huge mess and was terribly unstable. It also meant I had to keep using regular wires to interact with the thread a lot.

Instead I switched to a soft protoboard like design:

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This was fairly flexible and let me keep things smaller and more organized.

Hard Circuit

The hard circuit was a little less exciting. The idea was nearly the same, a normal action related to the garment activates the switch. I picked up a painters mask from Active Surplus and added a soft switch that activates when the mask is on. The soft switch connects to a set of LEDs and their resistors that live on their own soldered board.

Wearing it

This one was less fun, although advertised to be breathable this particular face sock got really hot after just a few minutes. Surprisingly the pressure of the light circuit on the forehead wasn’t bad and the giant glowing square wasn’t prone to random movement or sliding. Though the battery pack is another story.

Extra Process Shots

Some additional tests in class:

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