In this paper we describe enVella, a kinetic dress with movement triggered by the detection of the wearer’s fear or anxiety. The upper portion of the dress is surrounded with fans which open and envelope the wearer if her body temperature and heart rate are both rising. The aim of this project was to investigate the detection of fear with biosensors, and to see whether an enveloping physical transformation can provide a sense of comfort to the user. We begin by going over background research we conducted. Then we describe our prototyping process and challenges we faced along the way. We describe our implementation details, user reports, and then conclude with a discussion of future.
Chocolate satin silk material in conjunction of interface to make a material that is flexible enough to handle yet ridget enough to fan out without collapsing.
Heartbeat sensor: Increase in anxiety will increase in heartrate and tempurature, this is one of the result we concluded after we research into this area. So we bought a special heartbeat sensor that work with arduino called “HRMI” with polar band to detect user’s heartbeat.
Tempurature sensor are use to detect changes in body tempurature, however we later found out our human body tempurature does not fluxuate that much as a result it will be a challange for us to map this chabge.
Earlier the week we tried various idea that would give user the experience of enveloping and explore our research topic “perception of safety” , our single track system did not work out the way we want due to lack of equipment in school that allow us to bent the tube into a more organic shape that we desire. As a result we implemented multiple fan at different location of the body which opens up in sequence once it triggers by the heart rate sensor,
We made paper prototype of the fan structure which later on going made into fabric using double sided fusible web interface with two fabric sandwich it in between to gave us the material that we want.
To make the crease we use iron to each and every fold inside of using laser, we found this method to be more effective. The fan structure it self has two wooden backing to give further structure integrety.
It was a challange to sow all servo motor or any support backing material on the manikin because it doesn’t give us alot of room, but the manikin allow us to accurately plot where each actuator will go.
Over asthetic is achieve by having similiar type of chocolate brown satin silk material that made into a lace like dress that cover the overall manikin.. this give our project more consistency and continuous rather then each fan looks like seperate element.
Due to time constraint we only had two user testing, they both feel the dress is not too cumbersome and nor heavy. However, if the heartbeat sensor can be more accurate it would be ideal, since one of the challages we found is with the detecting with increase in heart rate, there would be a delay before the fan opens.
Instead of using rectangular fan perhaps we can use more rounded shape structure to make it more integreted with the overall look
The team sat down and re ask the questions like starting all over again from zero. We asked: what does safety mean to us? One good point is that we are people that behave in a human being way. It is very difficult for our wearable to communicate to the user if the message is based on animal experience, not human experience. If a piece of work doesn’t relate or connect with the user, it has no meaning and purpose. In stead of trying to implement animal characteristics to the wearable, the team decided to do something related to people. A quality of feeling safe for people is the idea of being hugged and being protected since young by mom. One very intuitive, implanted idea is the feeling of being inside a womb. We did some simple tests to some friends and ask them for some feedbacks about being circled by a materials around the neck and the torso. The purpose of these tests is to investigate if that sense of feeling safe inside a wrapped around area portray a sense of comfort and safety to people. Through many iterations and pages of sketches, we developed couple dress that the form itself will transform according to the heart rate input. The gesture of being wrapped, surrounded and covered in a dangerous situation.
In class critique.
After presenting our current spine idea in class, the team feels that there is a need to think the idea and concept over. The comments are that there are too many elements and great ideas but without a cohesive overarching idea that envelope the design. We need to ground the idea before we re develop the form once again. We decided the team into two sub groups again. Mark and Laurence will focus on the two sensors that the team decided to use after the conceptual research component. When a person feels fear, not only do they increase in heartrate but also suffers other biological change – ie. sweating. Emily and I went into more sketches boarding to develop more forms that will be suitable for our new idea. Also, to analyze all the comments we got from the critique and rethink our current approach.