Assembly is the collaboration between a haptic wearable device and a network of proximity. The goal of this research project was to create a user experience that promotes safety and comfort in the urban environment.

the wearable device uses symbolic language to communicate a need or receive a notification. For example different touch gestures imply different meanings. Doing up a button will send out passive signals of your location. stroking the discrete lining of the hem will send out a ‘friend call’. A combination of two hands swiping the outer arms implies you need serious help.

This user interaction utilizes embroidered conductive thread as touch sensors, and an integrated GPS module to send out location.

the user receives feedback whenever someone nearby signals. a gentle vs. a strong pulse of vibration will denote the volume of presence of friends nearby.

This user interaction ultilizes embedded haptic motors to deliver pulse and vibration.

If the user receives a high priority notification, they can view literal information on their mobile. The website component then allows the user to modify their privacy and social settings.

the prototype garment utilized conductive threading as well as sewing snaps to allow for detachable electronic modules to be removable. For the user, this means the garment can then be washed naturally and replaced or interchanged with a different style. The flexible modules that contain the embedded technology could then be serviced, replaced, or upgraded with ease.

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the process behind this ongoing project looks at areas of physical computing, haptic technologies, social networking, and proximity related networking. After a process of sketching and mapping, a participatory design workshop was held to aid in the development of the haptic/gestural language. The 10 participants involved were ask to imagine their current sweater as an iphone, and quickly 'bodystorm' different functions. After, everyone was asked to use markers on a spare shirt to co-create an imaginary wearable device. The one participant wearing the shirt assumed different positions and found gestures that were natural and quick.

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