Monthly Archives: April 2014

Initial research

To start, I did an initial and basic research about smart clothes and fabrics.
Then, after the discussion in class, I did some more research on the technical aspects, to see what’s available and try to combine the technologies into one or more interesting things.

First, the several times mentioned throat microphone. I think it is a good idea, depending on how close to the throat, we could integrate it in different ways. In addition to use such microphone to make phone calls the possibility of using speech recognition was mentioned. I have experience on speech recognition applications, and my suggestion would be to try several microphones exhaustively in different scenarios, identify the pros and cons of each of them and choose one or two. In my experience with normal microphones expensive doesn’t always mean better.

I have seen many people reading or writing messages using their smartphone while they ride their bike, this is quite dangerous. A guy who lives in my flat once fell and he was badly hurt, for example. As a proposal, I think it would be interesting to aim for an application which identifies an incoming message and asks the bike rider if he/she wants to hear the message (yes or no), then the answer is picked up via speech recognition and finally the message is “read” through text to speech.






I don’t remember if this one was shown by Florian but in case it was not I think it is a very good option to control any lights/leds that we want to integrate.

Lilypad Arduino – 22




wearable lights – el-lights

El-lights are an easy way, to bring lights on clothes.

Some of the following links show you, what they are doing, how to use or how company are useing them: (german side – company, where you can buy them and also find instructions how to use them) (english – wiki – what are el-lights?) (english – professional use – a company, which sells el-lights and everything around this. Here you find also products, like you can see below)

EL_WIRE_GIFTS_TOYS_9 EL_WIRE_GIFTS_TOYS_2 EL_WIRE_GIFTS_TOYS_4 surelight_children_safety_garments_wire

research for velo couture for pupil

I like to think first about a target audience, if I start with a project and I was always very interessted in safety. So I really fast wanted to make something for pupil. They are using there bikes very often the hole year on their way to school – mindless of any kind of weather. So, this was my basic for the research.

I was searching for clothes with safetyparts for pupils and often found these different kinds of reflective vests. It is important as pupil on your way to school or home to be noticed. Traditional reflective vests are working with reflections and a bright yellow.

reflective vest 00 reflective vest 01 reflective vest 02

After this, I was looking for different materials with the same functions, because I asked myself, “has it to be this bright yellow or this grey-refletor-color, if I want to have the same functions?” and “no” is the answer. There are many different reflecting materials and colors. In German, these kind of materials often called as “reflexstoff”.

To be noticed by other road user is one point, an other is to be protected by an accident. Pupil often use a helmet.

kinder_fahrrad_helm_rosa weltrad_074_helmet_picture

It is easy to find different clothes with protectors in sports like motorcycling. Based on that idea the industrie made coats for survival experts. The following coat has protectors on his back for the spine and on both sides as a protection for the ribes. I don’t know at the moment, if I want to have protections as part of my idea, but I think it is good to keep it at the back of my mind.

coat with protectors

Pupil ride their bike often the hole year, like I said at the beginning. So, I think it is unrealistic to think about a coat, that can be wear as the only coat the hole year. It can’t be light for the summer and warm for the winter at the same time. So, I think, it should be as light and thin as possible, so that the new coat can be wear above normal clothes. It has to be rain-proofed, too. There are already rain capes like that:

rain cape

Often, you can folding rain capes in very small packets. The material is very thin and isn’t breathing, but it is rainproof and a protection for wind. But it is large and flitter in the wind. I don’t think, these are points I want for my project.

You often find jackets like that for riders:

Fahrradjacke2 Fahrradjacke3

Both are bright and one has reflections, but they have both long arms, a long back and a collar. At the same time they are thin and light. All these are good points for a pupil-velo-jacket, too. But I think pupils need pockets for there keys, for tissues, for notice, for handys, for mp3-player and so on. And, some of them are wearing schoolbags on their bags.


If the jacket would be under their schoolbags, the bag would cover all the reflecting material at the back. It would be easier, if the jacket would be somehow stretching over the schoolbag.


The little points on the shoulders are an other idea of safety: Sound. I think everybody can remember a moment, when he or she is going around a corner and a person on a bicycle was coming out of the blue. We just haven’t see him – but we would had noticed a car by his sound. Bikes are very silent and sometimes very fast. Sound would make them better to notice. My idea was to use the wind and so, somehow the speed, to produce sounds. Like a whistle. There are many kinds of whistle and of course, it shouldn’t be an annoying sound. Maybe something like a bird-whistle. There are whistles, that can copy the sound of a bird, like these ones:

Vogelpfeife-Eichelhaeher Vogelpfeife-Rabenkraehe

For Next Week:

  • Continue your research, and/or become more specific, if you are beginning to focus on a certain area.
  • Post everything here, including links, media etc. Each item must have a brief descriptions, that states what is relevant to you!
  • If you need to upload larger files, please use Dropbox or similar and post a link here.
  • Use any language you like, as long as it English or German.