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wearables / week 06 – changing ways n improving things

weaving with optic fiber

and so i started testing the optic fiber with other materials – i got some swatches and reflective ribbons at Mood , so my plan was to warp the cricket loom with optic fiber and go weaving with those materials.

unfortunately the company i ordered the optic fiber didnt send it spooled and therefore i needed to spool it before starting anything (optic fiber, no matter the thickness of it, gets tangled very easily). but since i needed to file it as well, i decided to try both. at the same time.

Teresa helped me because the optic fiber would get tangled anyway and at some point i just had to throw out a good amount of it because we couldn’t figure out how to untangle it. I went to the cricket loom and started warping it with the optic fiber. there were also some difficulties in doing it due to the fact that the fiber optic is not that malleable and the thread behaves the way it wants to.


and so I started the tests with the reflective ribbons i had. but i find out that they weren’t that efficient as a material combined with the optic fiber.

the yellow ribbon just didn’t light up at all. and so i started rethinking about the materials, trying to think how i wanted to narrow down the project, how i want this product to be approached and then i realized that i wasn’t finding any motivation in it anymore. i wasn’t having fun with what i had and achieving the result i had in my mind – a well finished, all occasion machine-learning product – seemed so far that i wasn’t feeling motivated.

so i stepped back, talked with despina and other friends and decided to combine the positive results i had from the first prototypes to get another alternative.

an elbow patch with fringes that signalize the biker is turning on left/right. the fringes are made of bright/fluorescent color threads and optic fibers and there’s an led on the tip. this same tip is attached to a mini servo motor and when the biker turn the servo on, it swings the fringe. there’s a photocell in it, that captures the luminosity of the environment and inversely map it to set the led brightness, lighting up the fringe when it gets darker.

after i got the circuit to work, i started fabricating it

from this prototype,  i have new steps to be tested:

  • make servo physically stable
  • attach properly the optic fiber + LED on the servo
  • find out the voltage/current of the circuit
  • insulate the conductive thread
  • use battery
  • use waterproof materials
  • make the fringe (ribbons + thinner fiber optic)



Published in spring 2016 wearables


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