Project skills: Arduino, sensors, ideation, soldering
The musical hoodie was a prototyping experiment aiming at showcasing the potential of wearable technologies in our everyday lives with seamless interactions, bringing people closer to technology.
A musical player was integrated in a hoodie, and intuitive interactions were then developed to make the use of this hoodie more efficient and natural than a traditional music player.
This concept came from the common problem of tangled headphones. When taking headphones out of the pocket, they are often tangled in a big knot and it is annoying to take time to get them usable again.
My teammate and I decided to try and prevent that problem by integrating headphones into the hood of a sweater, and then designed the user experience as smooth as possible, embedding the classic user interface of a music player through seamless interactions.
In practice, putting on the hood automatically started the music from a Bluetooth connected device, pulling the right cord moved songs forward, the left cord moved songs backwards, and both at once paused the music. Volume could be adjusted by sliding up or down the tip of one cord on the other.
On top of that, we imagined more complex possibilities, and a very interesting one would have been to integrate a sharing aspect: for example touching sleeves of another hoodie would pass on the music - but we had to keep it simple to be able to have a functional prototype in our project's timeframe. Another key feature of the prototype was wireless charging. By hanging the hoodie on a special hanger, the internal battery would be wirelessly charged - no need to plug it!
This project ultimately got exhibited in the EU parliament in Brussels in the context of the Wearable Technology & eTextile Design exhibition.
As a passionate of wearable technologies and quite disappointed with the fitness orientation that the field took over the last few years, this was a great experience. I believe this kind of showcasing will help bringing wearable technologies and their potential in more parts of our lives.
During this project, I was mainly in charge of the technical part while my teammate was in charge of the fashion and physical integration of the technology in the garment. We began by ideating and developing our concept in terms of features and usability. From there, we started implementing our concept, and I worked with an Arduino board and multiple sensors to enable the desired interactions.