Don't Code Just Stitch
The Lab is currently working on the first series of modular patches. The basic creative philosophy behind the patches is driven by a simple mantra: “Don’t Code Just Stitch”. We don’t focus on highly skilled engineers but offer an off-the-shelf wearable solution, ready to sew! The patches are designed as separate functional modules: an artist can pick and mix modules from the series to create the desired functionality. No programming is required, since all code is pre-programmed in the hardware.
The series will include a number of washable controller devices based on familiar elements in textile industry such as: zippers, pins, buttons and elastic strings. These input devices all share the same color-coded interface so you can easily stitch and connect them to any port matching the color code. Besides the controllers a range of patches will be developed as versatile processors for input and output (light, sound, motion control, remote computing, …), bringing a range of complex features within reach of those who want to stick to stitching.
We do realise that this “Sew and Run” approach also introduces some constraints to the flexibility of the system as a whole. Nevertheless, we feel that our high-end source patches will bring a range of complex features within reach of those who want to stick to stitching. By designing our source patches to be versatile units, outputting a certain abstract medium (light, sound, motion control, remote computing), we try to leave the specific functionality of the final system as open as possible. Again the selection of certain system functionality is done by needle and thread.
The patches work with magnets to easy snap-on electronic components. Each patch consists of a base plate, which can be sewn onto a textile surface. The base is washable and provides sewable connection areas. All functionality is pre-programmed and can be selected by stitching a pre-set configuration patch.
The first proof-of-concepts have been created and will be further developed during the SummerSession residencies at V2_Lab. In due course, the series will become available as Open_Tools.
We now have:
- Audio Patch: Tone generator, Sample playback (30 min), Telephone dialer, Text-to-speech with pitch, tone and speed control
- Configuration Patch: Select audio patch functionality
- Washable controllers: Zipper Selector, Flexible bend- and stretch-sensors
- Micro controller