Aurora dress, 2015

This was my first hardware project; a wearable LED display comprised of 1004 addressable RGB LEDs that are controlled over a WiFi network. The individual diodes are hidden under a fabric overlay to diffuse the light and hide them. 

The concept behind this project is of a black dress that serves as a blank canvas and a subscription model for downloading fashion digitally. WiFi capability allows new designs to be loaded onto the dress automatically or customized on demand with a companion app. The dress could also provide a more visual way to display data.

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hardware

The software runs on a battery-powered self-contained wearable computer. Since this was my first hardware project and I wanted a quick prototype, I used breakout boards and through-hole components. 

The LEDs are driven through a Fadecandy LED driver, which was chosen specifically for its dithering and color correction capabilities. A Raspberry Pi runs the server software and communicates with the host computer over Wifi.

 

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software

I used the Processing language to generate particle animations and effects; pixel data was sent to the server with the Open Pixel Control protocol.

The visuals on the dress could potentially be customized via a web app, downloaded from a store or automatically update via a subscription service. Sensors embedded in the fabric could provide an additional UI that is tactile and more natural and/or capture data to be displayed on the dress.