A project for Fabricademy exploring electronic interfaces worn on the skin. Inspired by “Scanners Live in Vain”, a short story by Cordwainer Smith about a group of people who have their senses of touch, smell and hearing disconnected so that they can travel in space, I created a wearable touch sensor.
Fabric in the shape of Lissajous curves is painted with conductive paint on one side, and with latex on the other (enabling it to stick to the skin). An Adafruit Gemma microcontroller is connected to both the fabric sensor and to two addressable LEDs, and loaded with an Arduino sketch that toggles the LEDs on and off when the fabric sensor is touched.
Made at TextileLab Amsterdam, using laser cutting, vinyl cutting, hand painting, soldering, parametric design with Grasshopper / Rhino, and Arduino programming. Full documentation here.
In the future I hope to expand this project to map touch between multiple people, or detect different kinds of touch.