Archive for the ‘glowundies’ Category

glowundies video

January 31, 2007

i showed this video at my final presentation and the presentation i gave at the Bartlett Interactive Architecture Workshop at Eyebeam to demonstrate how glowundies work and incorporate exaggerated gesture (for demonstrating desire anyways, as the ‘no i don’t want you’ part is not yet in place…) The video stars the lovely Becky Heritage and the newly short-haired Cameron Browning. click the image to view the video. (7 seconds)

still from video



December 7, 2006

lovegety.jpglovegety. this was a device designed for japanese youth to help find love… (in a nutshell). the user would input their mood, then if another lovegety of the opposeite sex was in the same area, it would alert the users. i’m listing this as a precedent as a more serious approach to what i did with glowundies (bluntly declare love or not for a member of the opposite sex). i couldn’t find a specific lovegety web site, just several articles about the gadget from 1998…

glowundies: show or hide the switches? (hide)

December 6, 2006

as far as the design of glowundies’ accompanying garment, i didn’t know whether the soft switches i was going to make should be visible – like silver on white material, or if that was too distracting from the main purpose – the crotch – the undies. Again, simple is better seemed to win with the class, and that the gestures were enough. adam said something about, saying that the gestures are “perfectly natural” (exaggerated of course), so people expect and understand them, and seeing a silver patch on the back and shoulder seems uneccessary. also, without seeing these distracting patches, the gesture comes as a “nice surprise” is what i think jonathan said, so you’re not expecting it, but a shiny patch might make one suspicious that there’s a wearable technology a brewin…

gesture + gender

December 6, 2006

there was positive response to the incorporation of exaggerated appropriate gesture with glowundies. mike or jonathan said something about this making them less of a novelty, which is good.

the gestures i’ve decided upon are gender-specific. i’d also talked about adding a graphic for sexual orientation but didnt know what sort of gesture to associate with that. the class seemed to agree that that would be a hard thing to do, and even if i came up with/found one, it would probably be the sort of gesture that wouldn’t necessarily be specific to the situtaiton where people are expressing romantic interest to one another. what i’m saying is, and what the consensus seemed to be was, it doesn’t make sense to make them orientation specific as well, because there is no universal and separate gesture for “i’m gay and so i’m not interested” vs. “i’m straight so i’m not interested”. besides, i also think that part of what’s important about these projects is just blunt, direct communication, and being so specific, giving a reason to why you are saying “no” seems unnecesary.

so it’s decided, just yes and no. but i might still make one that also just glows all over, just because i think it will look cool.

gesture, placement

December 4, 2006

in thinking about the next prototype for glowundies, and after feedback in my fashion tech class from alison lewis, i’m think about gesture and the effect of incorporting that into glow undies.

i’m thinking about how my project has to do with awkwardness, and what i’d like is to use appropriate like/dislike gestures to trigger the appropriate response in the undies, but i want the gesture to be so exaggerated that it is obscenely this a problem? should the awkwardness be a result of the technology? or is it ok that the person is really being awkward? am i contradicting myself???

anyways, here’s a little research, but only a little:

i’ve started reading about different gestures and also asking people how they act around people who they are attracted to, as well as not attracted to. this research will dictate where on the body i will place soft switches which will trigger the appropriate led arrays. i’m going to keep reading and get verify informatin from perhaps more reliable sources, but so i’m highlighting what i found relevant below:

from asking people, i’ve learned that, and can confirm for myself too, that playing with your hands is a nervous behaviour that takes place when you’re around someone who you are attracted to. for some of the females i spoke to, so was playing with their hair.

in doing some preliminary reading on gestures i learned that (one) hand behind head “may be read as a potential sign of uncertainty, conflict, disagreement, frustration, anger, or disliking (i.e., social aversion). It usually reflects negative thoughts, feelings, and moods.”

head tilt to the side toward the shoulder is said to be a love symbol. “it is used extensively by men and women as a flirting or courtship… The head-tilt seemed to be more obvious in male-female greetings…This head [tilt] gesture may convey an attitude of coyness or submissiveness…”

in reading about the “love signals,” i really loved that he said <…these signals go out to announce a. “I am here,” b. “I am female” (or “I am male”), and c. “I mean you no harm–you may approach.”>

maybe my glow undies should speak, or use text that reads just that…”I am here, I am fe/male, I mean you no harm, you may approach”… i find this hilarious…

dot crap.

December 3, 2006

so i ordered those dot matrices from jameco pretty quickly but didn’t really play around with them for a while… which was probably a mistake because at it turns out, there really isn’t a datasheet – i even called the jameco guy who was no help, he just said something about a common cathode and then confirmed that yes there was no datasheet but that i should be able to figure it out by playing. it’s common cathode after all!

should i know what that means? arg. ok.

anywyas, i did play… and i did figure it out. i rule. yea. whatever it was actually pretty simple – logical even! i’l post a diagram shortly. but arg, that’s going to be a lot of wiring and complication to make my little displays…

so now i’m going to try with shift registers… that’s right.. i was avoiding it, but… it apears there’s no choice i’m afraid… i mean perhaps i have a choice but the shift registers make more sense to me, and well, these little arrays are still kind of thick and fat to be putting in undies… so, i’m opting for smaller led’s and shift registers. i swiped seven from rafael, so i’ll get working on that tomorrow or monday on a breadboard and hopefully sew onto new undies soon.

glowundies symbols

November 4, 2006

i’m thinking about keeping the symbols simple and not complicating with sexual preference graphics. so, a yes:heart and no:circle-with-slash. if i was to use the graphics i wanted to use and showed earlier in the semester, well, i think that would take up a lot more surface area. way more leds required. what if i just used a triangle graphic to represent homosexuality and and a triangle with a slash to represent straight? it seems silly hmm. is it cliché? also the little graphics i made earlier were cute i thought..

anyways here are some graphic reprentations of how the leds would be lit up…

no.png heart2.png

woman2.png man2.png

rainbow2.png triangle.png

glow_star.png glow_circle.png

dot matrices wheeee!

October 22, 2006

for the next iteration of glowundies, i really need to put the leds into an array so that they light up in the same position instead of all over the place. this way, i can add more graphics in as well.

mike referred this instructable to me so that i can create my own dot matrix display. i may do this.

also adam recommended i just buy prebuilt led arrays online or something. i may do this instead, or as well. im thinking abou this one from jameco but can’t seem to find a datasheet…. also… will this be bright enough to shine through clothing? hmmm….

glowundies proto 1!

October 6, 2006

Photo 62.jpg

glowundies are LED-infused undergarmets which indicate to a desirous specimen that they (desirous specimen) are stirring arousal in them (sporter of glowundies) – or not. No more ambiguous and frustrating anticapatory game-playing, glowundies are tool for communicating bluntly and tactlessly whether or not you are the object of another’s desire. red glowing genitals in the shape of a heart give the green light for love, anything else and you’re outta luck.

IMG_0877.JPGheewon is the vanna of glowundies

for this, prototype, there are two LED displays: heart (“yes” to love), or, circle with slashie (“no”) placed in different areas of the undies. a more advanced prototype will have at least five different graphics communicating more specific expressions, embedded in an LED array so that they are in the same position. The prospective graphics are described at the end of this post.


this prototype uses corrugated plastic and lighting gels to diffuse the light (white super bright leds). slightly clunky, but does the job for now.


in this version, two normally closed magnetic switches turn the images in the underwear on and off with a bracelet worn discretely on the wrist. later on, the switches will get more discrete, as well as the battery.


the hardware of this prototype is contained in a velcro-closure front pouch, and the two normally closed magnetic switches and 9-volt battery are velcroed onto the band of the underwear. the velcro makes the entire circuitry and hardware removable so the undies are washable. i embraced the clunkiness of the buttons and battery by skinning them with tinfoil, giving the garment a futuristic feel. i may or may not keep the futuristic feel in further prototypes.


1. ‘heart’ : can be used as both a question “let’s give love a chance?” or an answer “yes, i’ll give love a chance with you.”

2. ‘circle with slash’ : answer: “no.”

3. ‘girl and boy holding hands’ : answer in response to a female proposition to a female, “i like boys.” OR answer in response to a male proposition to a male: “i like girls.”

4. ‘girl and girl holding hands’ : answer in response to male proposition to a female: “i like girls.”

5. ‘boy and boy holding hands’ : answer in response to female proposition to a female: “i like boys.”


more process photos can be found here at my flickr page. Also, the info on this post is also mirrored (more or less) at the fashion tech blog where i made the glowundies up to this point.

sketch for glow undies

September 28, 2006