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Introduction to wearables, sensors, and narrative
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sensors Update Mar 13, 2019


Introduction to wearables, sensors, and narrative


OBJECTIVE: Teach the basics of circuitry through wearable electronics. Participants will start by creating their own parallel circuits and transition to programming with neopixels. PRESENTATION SLIDES

  1. Basic circuitry

  • LED/coin cell orientation

  • Create parallel switch circuit- LED, nylon fabric tape

  • One LED light up switch

  • Where have you seen a parallel circuit before? (christmas lights, etc)
  • Diagram on how energy flows
  • What is ground?
    • ground is the reference point in an electrical circuit from which voltages are measured, a common return path for electric current
    • What is VBATT, 3.3V = current flow places
    • Rest are digital pins
  1. Programming Neopixels
  • What are neopixels?
    • Needs data but how do we send it data?
  • Circuit diagram
    • Flora- microcontroller- runs a piece of code. Only knows to do that.
      • Reprogram (by uploading new code) it but only does the one thing
      • Flora diagram
      • How is data flowing?
  • Input
    • Are pins where you can connect devices that supply information to the microcontroller. - sensors, switches
      • Digital input - refers to a binary state. On or off, high or low.
      • Analog input- refers to pins that can accommodate a range of values. You can accomplish a more varied effect.
  • Output
    • Are pins where information is delivered from the microcontroller in the form of varying voltage.- LEDs, motors, and speakers.
  1. Sewing your circuit

  • How do you sew?
    • Look out for direction
    • Sewing snaps
    • Positive and Negative connections don’t have breaks HOWEVER data connections do.
    • Upload simple strand test
    • Arduino programming structure
  • Come in with an animation
    • Blink animation ⇒ snake animation
    • Feeling animation:
      • High
      • Crushed
      • Magnificent


  1. Introduction to Arduino
  • Go over Animation homework- Questions? Hurdles? Discoveries?

Introduction to Sensors

  1. Construct circuit
  • Accelerometer (2)
    • What are you measuring?
    • What can you sense with that?
  • Stretch sensor (2)
    • What is this stretch sensor made out of?
    • What is it measuring?
  • Mic
    • What is it measuring?
    • How are you mapping unto the neopixels?
  • Capacitive touch
    • What is it measuring?
    • What is resistance?
  1. Present back your circuit


  1. Mini-challenge
  • Create a 2 min max. performance
  • No words
  • Has to involve more than one body
  • Prompt- “I have to tell you a secret”
  1. Designing your circuit
  • Where does your sensor live on the body?
  • Examples of how to migrate your circuit
  • What is your sensor potentially highlighting?
    • What kind of gestures does your sensor invite?
    • What kind of meaning does the data have?


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