Archive for the ‘Development: Smart Textiles’ Category

Trip to Sweden: ideas and experiences

Boras in March is a wet and cool experience. Still Marion, Lena and I could use the time to develop ideas and concepts for the EduWear prototypes. The Swedish School of Textiles is impressive as it is fully equipped with all kinds of industry machinery. You can find machines for weaving, knitting, embroidery but also color and printing labs. Boras is a small city but traditionally housed a lot of textile industry what you still can see in the city. There are loads of nice cafes around and I had a great time in and outside school. There are also many interesting PhD researches and seminars going on for example the „Design seminar“ as a meeting point for Scandinavian people from Interaction and Textile design. It is organized by Linda Worbin who made marvelous prototypes in the “IT+textiles”project.

From the textile development perspective there will be the following products we are aimed at in the EduWear project:

An „experimental kit“ for circuits and programming were the children get the first hands-on experiences with electronics or programming and gain a basic understanding before working on their individual projects. There will be an electronic circuit the children can change by putting patches onto it or by closing gaps using textile technologies like sewing and a read-made circuit were children can practice programming.

The kit will also provide textile sensors and actuators. As first example we will have a pressure sensitive switch, stretch sensitive woven fabric, and a regular textile switch. For actuators we are aiming at a thermo chromic display that is pre-produced and children apply their own pattern by stenciling, painting or gluing their designs onto it. This textile in- and outputs will be supported by standard electronic components like light sensors.

An easy to use textile patch were the controller sits on as well as easy-to-connect patches with the sensors and actuators. These patches will be also used in the experimental kit. Take a look at Lena’s paper prototypes below.