Electromew - electronic wearables and art by Rain

Temperature sensing t-shirt (AKA "Yr in Mah Face!"), April 2010

'Yr in mah face' temp-sensing t-shirt

At April's Pachube's 24-hour Hackathon I created a t-shirt that uses Celsius temperature data from a sensor, averages it, then visualise the results via LEDs. The tshirt features sewable LilyPad Arduino modules and conductive thread to sew all the connections together.

I hadn't decided what to make until after I'd done a bit of catching-up with friends, plus I didn't have much time left, once I'd got the code to compile and uploaded it. Next I tested everything together by connecting with crocodile clips, so the designing, cutting out from fabric and sewing all the fabric and components together with conductive thread was a manic rush. No prizes for tidy sewing and elegant design I'm afraid, but a prototype conceived designed and built is less than 24 hours!

Spaghetti croc clip testing works Creating my hack: early conductive thread sewing Creating my hack: early conductive thread sewing

So here's the amusing concept scenario… imagine you're a shy and retiring geek like me, who might find themselves in a social situation, such as a loud, crowded bar. The temperature sensing t-shirt I'm wearing has two cat heads: one green – the colour of cool, calm collected cat – its LED eyes signaling temperatures of less than 27 degrees Celsius, if the wearer were to say have someone at close proximity talking loudly at them, the heat from their breath would push the sensor Celsius average over this point and the LEDs would turn off on the cool calm collected green cat head and come on, on the hot, red, angry coloured cat head!

This would be a signal to whomever is causing the angry red cat's LEDs eyes to light up, to back off "You're in mah face" or perhaps if the wearer is hot and embarrassed, to have a nice sit down in a corner with a cool drink of lemonade.

Creating my hack: back view, negotiating tracks of conductive thread Creating my hack: woo done in the nick of time!

But seriously, my t-shirt is a fun proof of concept, I'm very interested in how sensing tech such as temperature sensors can have wider and useful usage. For example, in a society where more of the population is living to a ripe old age, then smart wearables such as temperature and other sensing modules can help older or disabled people, who might need their health monitoring constantly, carry on living at home for longer and keep their independence. Also, I can think of various lifestyle and sporting uses, such as comfortable sports clothes that would also have reasons to track data, plus smart clothing