Meeting 04/04/08 @ Anjas’ studio

Meeting at Anja’s studio. 04-04-08 from 11 to 15.30. Present: Anja, Barbara (till 14.30), Danielle.

Barbara has done research into the chakra’s but found the possibilities limited (one line) and the appearance too esoteric. So we’ll have to choose the area’s we want to work with ourselves. We may use some of the underlying theory and the colours might be useful too.

Barbara also did research on heat sensitive paints:
+ They react quickly to warmth (fast feedback)
+ You can mix colours and are thus able to make all the colours you want
– No matter what colour, on reaction to heat it always turns white.
We could experiment with using different colours of shirts so we have three colours to work with: the paint colour, white and the colour of the shirt.
It might be interesting to look into compact heating and cooling (Peltier junctions, restrictive coil – we’re not sure what that means yet) elements to have more control on the saturation of the colours. Biofeedback could drive these elements.
Luminex is cool stuff the drawback is that it’s only visible in the night.

We want to research the possibilities of using a map or grid to make a kind of guide that can let people know where to touch or press when having certain emotions or ailments. This should be a playful design.

As far as output/display we came up with the following list: LED, LED wire, Luminex (conductive fyber), heat sensitive paint, e-paper, light emitting wallpaper. We want to see if we can meet the producer of the Iliat based in Eindhoven. (View ‘In de ban het ding’ link).

We want to investigate three sort of prototypes:
1) A shirt with heat sensing paints for the area’s to interact with. Each of us is going to formulate some thoughts on this and make a design. The next meeting will produce these shirts an wear them once they’re finished to see what the reactions are.
2) A shirt with a map/guide and one sensor or a couple of switches which uses LED’s as output.
3) A shirt with a map/guide and one sensor or a couple of switches which uses Luminex as output. There is an Italian company (view link) that sells towels in different colours which we’re going to buy and use in our prototype.

With regard to the sensors we think we’ll get the most useful data when we combine a heart-rate sensor with a body motion sensor. This way we can rule out false data because increasing heart-rate combined with body motion would mean activity and not stress.
We want to look into energy point sensors which are used in traditional Chinese medicin.
We’re worried about the integration of the sensors with the wearable. We don’t won’t the technique to be separated from the garment. Nor do we want to be too much of a hassle to put on. A nice looking ear clip or ring in line with the design for measuring heart-rate would be a solution. If we want to use a breast belt 😉 we could use a bra or top integrated into the garment. For men we would have to think of another solution…

We replied to Frank Kooi’s e-mail asking some new questions.
Barbare is going to London on an internship with who do lot’s of interesting things with light, she’ll keep us updated.
Anja and Danielle might be partaking in the Mediamatic e-Fashion day with Leah Buechley providing that we can work on our project and discuss it with her.

The next meeting is 12-05-08 in Breda at Danielle’s place

Meeting 12/03/08 @ Anja’s studio

Our first meeting after the workshop. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Present were Anja, Barbara and Danielle.

We started off by rethinking the project:

  • Is it necessary for our project to work with pressure points? Working with them is very precise work that has to be done by a human to be effective.
  • Maybe it’s more useful for us to work with area’s instead of points? They can be visualized by heat sensitive ink.
  • The element of communication and touch is crucial for the wearable, it should stimulate (bodily) contact between the wearer of the garment and others
  • Practices like Reiki and Shiatsu prove the power of touch
  • We could consider tension treatment on a specific area of the body. For example neck tension could be relieved by placing a warm hand on the tense area. We could also use vibrators to relax tense muscles.
  • Is there a way to express a surplus of good feelings (like: I feel energetic, full of love or peace)?

We also thought about how to communicate our project, what language to use. Do we mention the type of ‘New Age’ things that inspire us? We decided that the most important thing to communicate is that the wearable is an added means of communication for the wearer. It can express inner states that may be hard to talk about. It also makes it more easy for people to communicate in a direct and free way. These are things that a lot of people long for. For those interested we can elaborate on the ‘softer’ and medical side of the project. So we can have levels of communication about the project.

Our goal is to make an attractive wearable that will appeal to a large audience and still express the more vulnerable side of people and help them with emotions, awareness and communication.

These are the main elements of the wearable:

  1. Interaction on area’s using touch
  2. Communicate moods/inner states
  3. Make use of meridians, chakra’s, pressure points
  4. Levels of states: body > emotions > spirituality

Way of measuring inner states:

  1. Switches: choose mood from a given set
  2. Sensors: GRS, heart-rate, muscle tension, breath-rate, skin temperature, blood-pressure

Ways of expressing inner states:

  1. Changing ink (area)
  2. LED light (spots)
  3. LED wire (area)
  4. Luminex (area)

We wrote a letter to Frank Kooi asking him for advice and a meeting.

We decided to start this blog to measure progress and to exchange and centralize idea’s.

We continue our research on the output (materials) and input (sensors).

The next meeting is planned on 02/04/08 @ 11 a.m. @ Anja’s studio.