Wearable Polygraph Update

This post is an update on the Wearable Polygraph project that I undertook as part of the Wearable Technologies class at CU Boulder. Naturally this post will build  on multiple previous posts in the wearables thread on this blog so if you are looking for some context be sure to check out Fantasy Wearables and Wearable Polygraph posts.

Below I will cover the system design, integration, and shortcomings of the device and the interface for this v0.0.1 release. I would like to note up front that the project is not entirely functional and I came up short on many goals, but the system design that I have developed up to this point is solidifying and the different choke-points have brought up interesting new questions that are prudent to document with the current context of this project.

Reading forward you can expect to find documentation on the current state of the device and the interface that I have developed as well as discussion on an interesting future wearables project using this proje…

Wearable Polygraph

Today I am going to outline the plan for an upcoming project.
Concept: By measuring numerous sources of information on the human body I intend to evaluate the information that is made available involuntarily when someone speaks. By using running averages, statistical modeling, or a neural network along I will try to go beyond current work in Human Activity Recognition to detect variations from "Normal" responses.

This task is my attempt to make a general purpose wearable polygraph machine. In this post I will demonstrate a more full explanation of the concept, outline the technical requirements that this will involve, give some background on expected audience and environment, and finally go over the materials that I plan to use to successfully implement this idea.
Requirements: To accomplish the goal of this project I will need to monitor a multitude of body sensor data in real time:
Breathing ratePulse (heart rate)
Muscle Activation (involuntary nervous response)Perspiratio…

Soft Switch

In this episode we are going to demonstrate another simple project for getting introduced to circuits and sewing. Our goal here is to make a soft switch by sewing a button onto a square of felt to close the connection. This will cover many of the same skills as the previous introductory project. However, developing garment skills and circuit skills takes practice and every new project reinforces those abilities.

As before, here are some useful links for this project:
Sparkfun E-Sewing BasicsKitronic E-Textiles Spakfun partsAdafruit inspiration Without further ado lets collect our materials and get rolling!
Materials: For this quick project we will need many of the same items we have used before. Felt SquareSew on Snaps>Conductive ThreadCoin Cell BatteryLED LightCoin Cell Battery Holder Other items that are useful but not required are sharp scissors that can cut felt, rip-stop, and clear nail polish.

Steps: 1. Buttons: Once you have the materials you are ready to go!  The easiest pl…

Simple Soft Circuit

In this post we are going to walk through an introductory soft circuit.

Conductive thread (~2 feet)  White thread Coin cell batteryCoin cell battery holderLED light (sew-able or regular)Embroidery hoopFelt SquareHot glue gun. Get Going! 1. Collect and assemble materials! Collect the materials, they can be found at most local craft stores, or on your favorite web market. To make yourself ready to get creating, we need to get the felt into the embroidery hoop and the conductive thread into the needle.

To prepare I put the felt square into the embroidery ring along with a small piece specially cutout for the design that I had in mind.

2. Sew what? The basics of sewing and their relevant techniques in wearable technologies can be found on sparkfun (an amazing resource).

Holding the LEDs and the battery holder in place while trying to sew them can present a challenge as most of us have ten fingers at the best of times. To assist, I suggest using hot glue to fasten the circuit eleme…

Re: Why Google Glass Broke

Google Glass was a magnificent failure with a high interest story behind it. In this post I will be giving a quick response to the story published in the New York Times with some perspective on the context and aftermath that google glass left.
Don't be like Google.The Story In late 2009 some of Google's top executives coalesced for a secretive meeting to discuss the future of technology and all the crazy ideas that Google might be able to capitalize upon. While many different projects were allegedly spawned out of this meeting we are only interested in one. Google Glass.

Google glass was developed in secret on the Google campus as Project X a project that not even regular Google employees had knowledge about. For two years the project was under design and development until 2011.

Against the wishes of some of the developers Google glass was making it's way onto the world stage. Originally the plan was to start with a limited release, to critics and open source community to…

Re: The Next Black

In this post I am responding to the 2014 documentary work The Next Black by AEG. In this post I am purely responding to the content in the film. I may in future try to follow up and see which of the ideas have lasted now that we are five years on from it's release (spoiler alert -- ifixit survives).

Approaching fashion from the outside it is somewhat clear to me that black has always been a quintessential color in fashion, and maintains a strong presence in all worn items. Any company that can find a product or a trend that will catch and stick in the same way that the color black has a foundational idea to be sure.

The Next Black identifies a few ideas leading the fashion industry currently and weaves all of them into the technological renaissance that wearable items are approaching.

Immediate response  The production and design incorporated in the video is tremendous. Having tried my hand at very simple design techniques is enough to recognize that the graphic and sound design t…

Re: On Fashion by Georg Simmel

In this latest entry I am responding to an article "On Fashion" written by Georg Simmel about the nature of fashion and our relation too it. The pdf should be handily available if you are interested.

Immediate Impression: Wow -- There is a lot going on here. An enormous breadth of topics ranging from the most abstract to the most concrete are brought in as demonstrative examples and analogies for fashion. The author attempts to impress upon the reader a sense of the forces of fashion, and the role that they plays in the context of society (he is in the field of sociology).

While this was written in 1957 it seems to predict the monstrous fast fashion of the modern industry based on the motivating forces in human nature. The essential dichotomy that is presented deals with the unifying and segregating forces, through which Simmel presents a sense of the platonic form of fashion for the reader. The two opposing forces motivate the lower classes to imitate the higher and high…