I met Laszlo Kovacs, Director of C/Punk/Doc through the amazing forums @ Cyberpunk Review. He invited me to submit media just as they were wrapping production, so we have a 1.5 minute segment on my Wearable and Nomadic Computing work that begins Act 2. Narration is by Hawk from American Gladiators, over the song Teenage Hitman by Encephalon. Thank you Wood, Keypixel, and my other fellow Cyberpunks.
I've been meaning to say hi to everyone I met at the 2nd BIL Conference and thanks for tuning in. It was a great networking weekend for the wearable computing community in LA. We want to put together a non-con AKA un-conference like Mobile Camp. Maybe we'll spin off Steve Mann's term for a wearable computer; WearComp, and call our non-con WearCamp or WearComp Camp. I'll write more later on some excellent BIL talks and interactions about Wearable Computing, Cyborg, and H+ soon. I want to gather some photos, video, and audio together to help share the phun.
"Sunday is DIY DAY @sugarshack, clothing swap and restyling. Got something you want to work on but don't have the right tool? Try us out. 2-6PM" It's at the blue house on the corner of Pico and Windsor, 2 blocks west of Crenshaw. I'll be giving a little presentation about hardware hacking for wearable computing.
Above, Alice Tseng-Planas's textile capacitive sensors and breadboarded Qprox chip with LED indicators
Many thanks to the organizer/presenters Alice Tseng-Planas and Syuzi Pakhchyan, Mark Allen for availing Machine Project, presenters JooYoun Payek and Gilad Lotan, and the assembly! I'd guess we had about 30 people at this first meet-up. Some were in town for SIGGRAPH 2008, some had met or come through advanced degree technology programs like Tisch ITP and Parsons CD&T, some were crafty, and some were just intrigued by the concept of the event. We began a contact list, shared information, and were proud to bolster LA's burgeoning tech-arts social scene with a wearable and materials technology special interest group.
More event images below:
Alice's touch-pad quilt interior
Trying out Gilad's imPulse device, a wireless telepresence device for sensing and visual/haptic display of two participant's pulses
Syuzi presents some materials like conductive thread and textiles, laser cut and sewn circuit traces and sensors, and other projects presented in her new O'Reilly/CRAFT book, Fashioning Technology.
JooYoun gives a sneak-peak at her SIGGRAPH 2008 presentation
From: Machine Project dot com:
Sunday, August 10th, 2008
1pm - 3pm
contribute a tutorial introducing a single topic or technique
gather to make connections across disciplines
leave with tangible, usable techniques and patterns
From: the Machine Project mailing list:
Please join us from 1pm-3pm Sunday August 10th for a meeting of Tangible Exchange (tex), a sewing circle for people who like to sewing electronics into stuff. This casual meet up is for those seeking skills trade, collaboration, inspiration, techniques, and exposure to topics with an emphasis on fiber, physical computing, textiles, wearables, and all matters of materials. If you have experience in these topics and are interested in contributing a tutorial or presenting a topic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea. If you have no experience but are curious, come to meet other people who are interested in the same topic. If you have neither experience or interest, but are really thirsty or get confused and think something else is happening at Machine Sunday afternoon, come by anyway and we will give you a nice cool glass of water.
This is the work I exhibited at Maker Faire this Spring. I've been hacking my Archos PMA-430 into wearable computer prototypes for 2 years, and hacking my Nokia N95 for about 9 months. The top image shows a video feed from my Nokia to my Archos, while the image below it shows the unhoused wiring that adds functionality such as USB connectivity and power.
Systems integration is designed for field-reconfigurability and use of ubiquitous technologies such as USB ports and ethernet or phone cables. I can charge both devices from AC, my motorcycle, its solar panel, or even a random computer in any number of libraries, cafes, etc. The two devices link up through a retractable 8-conductor ethernet cable, although I can use a multitude of available cords. The green terminal blocks allow field connections without soldering, since I believe the universal connector is bare wire if no adaptors are nearby.
I have hundreds of images of my work, and lots to write about, so there will be much more ahead. Just a Heads-Up.
The Call For Participation is here. Entry forms will be released in May on Disorient.com, are free, and due July 1. All entries can participate in a fashion show and compete for prizes at Disorient's pre-Burn Compressor annual. Deadline for entry forms is July 1st 2008. Light up our runway!
Come meet Nym and I and bring your wearables! We're here to profile and promote the community's work on this site, so let's meet, get some media, and get it up here. Come out, come out, wherever you are!
I'll be exhibiting my latest in the Wearaware collection.
More roving telepresence hacks from the brothers!
CNN has broadcast a segment on Boing Boing TV, which shows a clip from my segment as it mentions "a demonstration of wearable computers" as a primary example of BBTV content. Online video-on-demand can be viewed here. BBTV uses a still from the segment, shown above, to represent it on their BBTV In The News page and here too. This still is also an except from their segment about my wearable computing work. I am honored and it has got me thinking...
My man Flynn is doin' it agin!
On its simplest and hardly unique level, sensors acquire data that can be shared over networks, visualized, logged, etc. The form-factor combines a "wearable sensor unit" inexplicably detached from a "dedicated mobile phone".
The (perhaps deliberately) distracting issue with the concept is its inconsistent specificity. The concept's sidebar links to Nokia's actual sustainable practices including materials, energy-saving strategies, etc. were actually informative; while the concept itself is convoluted with seemingly random levels of detail and environmental justification. The presentation of Nokia's Eco Sensor Concept is unfortunately obfuscated by a combination of existing, emerging, and speculative technologies and heart-strings chaff.
The photo-realistic images detract from the overall presentation. They're not meant to convey anything useful, yet open themselves up to interpretation, and in this case, scrutiny and consternation. They present unexplained dummy data visualizations on button-less screens, which also counter the extinct notion of a "dedicated mobile phone". The scale of the devices is indeterminate, the only hint of a user interface is visually glazed over, and the apparent full-touchcreen is reminiscent of Nokia's aeon concept and BenQ-Siemens Black Box concept phone.
(see Part 2 for sensors and wearability)
FM Sygnals DJs Starvin Marvin and Master Flynn present a night of themed dress and cavorting to the very best in underground house, BreakBeat, Hard Floor, and Progressive dance music - STEAM PUNK STYLE!
FM SYGNALS PRESENTS - STEAM HOUSE,
This Friday Nov 30th, 9pm to 4am
Steam Punk: Denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne.
House Music: A style of electronic dance music strongly influenced by elements of the late 1970s soul- and the funk-infused dance music style of disco.
STEAM HOUSE is just that. FM Sygnals DJs Starvin Marvin and Master Flynn present a night of themed dress and cavorting to the very best in underground house, BreakBeat, Hard Floor, and Progressive dance music - STEAM PUNK STYLE!
We invite you to come dressed in your best Steam Punk fashion as you groove into 4am with your hosts from FM Sygnals at;
609 Grand Street, Broolkyn, NY
Subway L Train to Lorimer Street, walk down 3 blocks to Grand Street and make a left to ART LAND.
No cover, good PBRs!
Driving directions will be posted soon for those that require it.
Steampunk/Victorian attire highly encouraged but not required.
(images coming soon... along with fmsygnals.com)
I guess you could wear your cellphone on your finger if you wanted to. Why not get a few of these stick-ons and make a multi-fing bling ring and look ka-ching?
"The Maker Faire team is joining forces with Felt Club for the upcoming
Felt Club XL Holiday event - Sunday, November 18 th from 11am-6pm on
the Los Angeles City College campus (855 N Vermont Ave, LA CA 90029)..."
[via BarCamp LA mailing list]
Here's my abstract:
"My contribution to Maker Square will be wearable computing hacks for PDAs. My focus will be on two devices I am hacking right now that can be used as independent wearable computing platforms that can also be combined together. The two devices are more than just PDAs. One is an Archos PMA-430 PVR with A/V I/O, and the other is a Nokia N95 Smartphone with A/V I/O and Video output. I will mostly discuss hardware hacks for interfacing with the devices' I/O capabilities to create wearable computing configurations. This includes reverse engineering, custom connector kit-bashing and cloning, body mounts, on-body networks, and video connections for HMDs and cameras. I will bring a wearable harness I created for the Archos, a custom connector adaptor I created, documentation of iterative hacks, my OATH (Obligatory Altoids Tin Hack) USB Hub/Ethernet/antenae array interface, and will be conspiring live against my Nokia. I will also discuss the shift in approach between the hacks of the two devices, and how it relates to user interface design and software."
They're still accepting proposals; information below:
"This family-friendly event will feature 70+ amazing crafters,
delicious food and great music, plus an all-new section called MAKER
SQUARE, a miniature version of Maker Faire ! (Felt Club is a twice-
yearly indie craft fair featuring the best and brightest of the SoCal
craft scene. Our carefully juried shows highlight a wide variety of
handmade goods, including handbags and jewelry, baby gifts and paper
products, clothing and housewares, one-of-a-kind plushies and original
artwork. In between shows, we host a variety of craft-related events
around the city, including how-to workshops, craft supply swaps, and
more - www.feltclub.com ).
Maker Square is organized by the staff of Make and Craft magazines and
is a mini-fair that brings together science, art, craft and
engineering in a fun, energized and exciting public forum. The aim is
to inspire people of all ages to roll up their sleeves and become
makers. We will showcase the amazing work of all kinds of makers--
anyone who is embracing DIY and wants to share their accomplishments
with an appreciative audience.
We encourage you to join the fun and enter a project to exhibit. You
can submit you entry by sending an email to email@example.com. In
your Maker Square entry request, please tell us about yourself and
your project. Entries can be submitted from individuals as well as
from groups such as hobbyist clubs and schools. Please provide a short
description of what you make and what you will actually bring to Maker
Square. Please provide links to photographs or videos of what you
make. Maker exhibits should be non-commercial. We particularly
encourage exhibits that are interactive and that highlight the process
of making things. Please remember that our space is outdoors and we
do not have access to electricity.
Here's some suggested ideas for topics that we're looking for:
Things Made From Recycled Items
Making Musical Instruments
Puzzles, Games and Toys
Cars (hot rods, custom vans, electric vehicles)
Airplanes and Aeronautics (models, etc)
Cool RC Toys & Mods
Video Games (retro, home arcade and more)
Model Trains and Planes
Weaving/Looms (historical or unusual)
Temporary Structures (Tents, Domes, etc.)
Unusual Tools or Machines
How to Fix Things or Take them Apart (Vacuums, Clocks, Washing
Maker Square Space: Our standard setup for each Maker is roughly a
10x10 space. Use this space to display your work and/or demonstrate
how you make something. You will need to bring your own tables and
NOTE: Makers whose entries are accepted will receive free admission to
Felt Club/Maker Square. However, we cannot pay for transportation and
accommodations. Makers do not pay a fee to exhibit at Felt Club/Maker
Square and maker exhibits are non-commercial.
If you have any questions about participating in Maker Faire, please
contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you at Felt Club XL Holiday/Maker Square on
November 18th in Los Angeles!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"We are looking for fashion design which pushes the boundaries of technology — computational & conceptual couture & wearables, fashion with a social agenda concerning technology (although may not have embedded technology), and fashion produced using algorithmic fabrication or innovative manufacturing techniques. Because of the exhibition format, it will also be possible to show architectural textile installations"
"The VanityRing doesn't have a jewel, instead it shows the number of hits one gets, when he searches Google for the name of the person who wears it, a more adequate value in our time. It is personalized using a custom software, and after the name is typed the ring will change its display to show the personal "attention carats", while every night, when it is inserted into its docking station the ring is reloaded and updated."
To play with this notion in relation to links, blogs, and viral media, I'll let you click here for the designers' name. Why not? It's just a link, which I found via Make: Blog, posted by Jonah Brucker-Cohen, who linked it via information aesthetics. I'm "RoBo", and Google isn't case-sensitive even when you use quotes. robo what? Not exactly.
It's like that movie The Jerk, where Navin proclaims: "Page 73 - Johnson, Navin R.! I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your name in print - that makes people. I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now." Thanks IMDB. The Web isn't necessarily in print, but you can print out part of it. A blog isn't in print, but we do aspire to leveraging it's advantages by updating iGargoyle more often than we have been. I've Googled people and only found their entry in an online phone book. But even then, knowing their location, be it their city or street, would help you find the right phone number. One of Goggle's many services involves geography now. I'll give you some keywords to search for yourself, using the engine of your choice: "Paul Virilio" and "Big Optics". Why? Sometimes, it's all about context. Remember, according to Navin R. Johnson: "I am not a bum. I'm a jerk."
We've already covered Leah Buechley's DIY Wearable LED Display and now her e-textile construction kit is expanding to a more modular version of the Arduino microcontroller kit. Sewable LilyPad components are now available from Spark Fun. You access her paper and photos from her projects or by going to her publications page. Check out her DIY links to get started.
[Link via Hack-A-Day]
This isn't actually new news, but it's of dresses that transform into other dresses, which is pretty cool in of itself, and it doesn't hurt that one of them involves a woman's dress disappearing altogether.
Paris, 4 October 2006 -- Hussein Chalayan continues to view the world as a research laboratory but with an added hint of the supernatural. The dresses, fluid and light, sometimes responding to the geometric criteria and at other times presenting Swarovski crystals, are evidence of impeccably mastered and detailed work. And to bring the catwalk to a close, the designer proposes a 'Return to the Future' with dresses that transform themselves, as if by magic, amid the amused and stunned spectators
NSFW Video below:
It's summer, and here in sunny california it's been up to 110 degrees, but the real danger isn't the heat, it's those pesky UV rays. Solestrom has made a bikini that has this in mind, and a UV-meter in the bottom half. Beyond telling you where the sun is at on the UV scale, it also tells you when you need to get out of the sun.
Bottom line: at $190 it's not the cheapest bikini out there, but skin cancer probably costs a lot more.
Personally, I just want a t-shirt that I can change the design on the fly. When memes fly over the internet, it seems like fashion is always playing catch up.
WIRED has an article on smart clothing and wearable computing entitled "What You'll Wear in 10 Years". In my opinion, they're not so far off. They discuss the trends, but most interestingly they describe this concept in smart clothing:
Suzanne Lee, a senior professor at St. Martin's School of Fashion in London and the author of Fashioning the Future, describes a " spray-on dress" made from a chemical formula that allows you to create a temporary dress from virtually nothing. The chemical is sprayed directly onto the skin to form a cloud of non-woven cloth, which can be styled as desired. At the MIT Media Lab, students have also conjured up "epi-skin," a piece of jewelry made from epithelial skin cells that are cultured in the lab and grown in a test tube.
Talk about skin tight. Instead of being poured into a dress, people will be pouring dresses onto themselves. Or maybe not, but it's a neat idea.
[ Link via del ]
Diana Eng is probably one of the most interesting people in fashion these days because she's pushing math and technology into fashion, creating wearable computers that appeal to many more people than most wearable hackers could imagine. Diana has done much more geeky things, using biometrics and cameras, but this piece really jumped out at me because it looks gorgeous, and isn't that complicated a premise for would be fashion nerds to experiment with.
...fitted with a hacked hand vacuum and a series of valves, that inflates and deflates according to the desired silhouette. Eng designed the garment with classmate Emily Albinski while a student of apparel design at the Rhode Island School of Design.
"Prior to inflation, it's supposed to be a kind of straight-fitting dress," Eng explained during a phone interview from New York, where she currently works as a freelance designer and is busy preparing for "Seamless: Computational Couture," a Feb. 1 fashion show at the Boston Museum of Science, where she will one of the featured designers. "It inflates and becomes bell-shaped."
[ Link via del.icio.us ]
Leah has sewn 140 LEDs onto the shirt in a tight grid pattern, using a needle and conductive thread. Each row connects back to the AVR Microcontroller that runs the show. Coded with the language C, this computer chip performs the rules of life and updates the display. If you want to learn how to make your own fabric based light-grid, Leah has full instructions on her site.
Nwanua joined in on the project by adding more interactivity with his drawing device. He created software for his PDA (Palm Zire) that interfaces with the user and the shirt. Infrared light transmits the data, one bit at a time, to the shirt's reciever. He wrote his part in C with help from prc-tools, a free-to-use communication protocol that lets the PDA's infrared port talk to the crystal-less, funky-time clock in the reciever.
Previous link: LED Tank Top
[ via we make money not art ]
Skiing and snowboarding can be really cold, and even with gloves, those fingers can get pretty chilly. The Zanier Head-GX gloves aim to prevent that by using tiny battery powered heaters at the end of your fingertips.
Each glove is powered by a rechargeable 4 oz. lithium battery that can be configured in a trio of heat settings at are 86º, 98.6º, and 131º. Battery life is expected to run up to 10, 4.5 and 2 hours respectively.
Only thing is, these are going to run you just over the cost of a G3 iPod at $250USD. Not exactly a bargan.
We've been covering these kinds of items a lot on igargoyle recently, and it's nice to see something that isn't aimed primarly at the iPod, but I really dislike the fact that much of these are jackets!
On the other hand, I did just report on the iPod work shirt and Levi's iPod RedWire DLX jeans, which both break that standard. I think 2006 will be a great year for wearables, if only because products like these are going to be flying off the shelves.
[ Link via engadget ]
I helped to launch the site because interesting girls in science is a cause that I really believe in.
Yeah! Take down the fashion establishment Diana!
Also you should check out iHeartSwitch's CES eppisode, which basically covers all the cool wearable tech at CES. Wish I was there with em!
Elektek has partnered with another company, Koyono, to make an iPod work shirt. I recently reviewed the Kenpo iPod jacket, which uses the same technology for the controller. This one looks better for the cooler climates, and a bit more stretchy.
Like all BlackCoat designs, the Work has a minimal appearance and is made from the latest encapsulated waterproof fabric technology. What makes the Work different is its stretch cotton construction for uncompromising comfort. You will have just the right number of pockets to manage your gadgets and other mobile necessities and feel good.
My only concern is, given the price of these, you're only going to be able to wear this shirt once, maybe twice a week. I think I'll stick to my cheap iPod belt attachment.
[ Link via Davy Krieger. Thanks Davy! ]
Levis is getting on the iPod bandwagon by releasing RedWire DLX Jeans, which incorporate a special joystick to control your iPod. Now I know what you're thinking, and no, they didn't put the joystick over the crotch, so you won't be able impress women and get fondled wearing these.
The joystick is on the hip, and they've got a dock for the iPod to go into in one of the pockets. Very notably, they built a retractable headphone unit to prevent tangles and keep from getting snagged on things with your earphone cables. I guess the engineers over at Levis got tired of their headphones flying out of their ears.
So no pictures yet, but this is scheduled for release in the fall of this year. Oh boy.
igargoyle reader, Robert pointed me to WarmX, a company that produces undershirts that have a panel of heating fabric. I originally heard about this early last month, but was sparse on details. The idea is simple, but their fabric won't short circuit, is washable (as one would expect), and produces seven percent of a body's heat. The panels are located around the kidneys, and the batteries for the warming fabric last from 2.5 hours to 4.5 hours, depending on the setting, and recharges in three hours.
I live in Los Angeles, so usually staying warm isn't a big concern for me, but I could imagine that this would be pretty useful for going out to the desert or visiting colder parts of the world.
Here's a link to their store. They're selling undershirts for € 258.00.
[ Link via Robert. Thanks Robert! ]
This intimate wear is a shirt that is designed to register intimate words whispered into the wearer's ear.
An Intimate Memory shirt with a very sensitive microphone in the collar and a series of light points in a flower pattern incorporated into the front of the shirt. When a friend or partner whispers something into your ear, the microphone will record this event and the lights will light up, showing that an intimate event has occurred. The number of lights indicates the intensity of the intimacy event. Over time, the lights turn off, one by one, to show how long it has been since the intimate event took place.
They also have a skirt that registers touch. Now there's a good way to encourage people to feel you up.
The future of fashion is definately in wearable technology, both for personal use, and to have clothes that react to the enviornment, which this hoodie aims to do. It's LED studded hood can pulse to music, which is the kind of thing that will the wearer that extra attention. After all, who doesn't like blinkies, especially if they're blinking in beat.
The Hoodlüm "pulses" light in tune with the music that the wearer is listening to, be it the slow beats of a sonata or the sharp staccato of techno-jungle. Alternatively, the wearer can change modes to enable the Hoodlüm to pulse in response to the sounds around him, whether in a dance club or a subway. Finally, the Hoodlüm can be switched off and look and function exactly like a "normal" garment. The result is increased control over the relationship between the wearer of the Hoodlum and the fellow participants of his urban context.
France Telecom has done some fun R&D to display pixelated images from your cellphone on your shirt or sleeve. These raver garments can even be used as a standalone device that can animate based on sounds and gestures. The technology uses a flexible circuit board with LEDs and other electronic bits like sensors layered in a fabric layered sandwich, which they claim is fairly comfortable.
The researchers at France Telecom hope people will use these textiles to do things like display their mood, but I'd be happy if my pixilated avatar would just bop to the beat of the baseline when I'm out on the town. I really hope to see better resolution displays; this technology is still very young. With better resolution, designer memes and logos might become the hot intellectual property being shared by the young hipsters. Animated clothing is something I've been seeing a lot at Burning Man by artists with electroluminescent wire, so I have hope that this technology will encourage fashion to be more creative. For example, I would love a shirt that could display a very large "NO SPAM" message to display disgust in solicitors and peddlers in appropiate situations. I'd love to hear how others would use this creatively, so once again, I've opened up the comments
While I don't care for the fashion, this jacket is probably the most comfortable one could get outside of an air conditioned RV. Maybe I can get this for my girlfriend. She won't look cute, but she won't have a heat stroke either.
Nobody knows where to buy these though! Comments are open on this in case someone has a clue.