Touch Sensitive Clothing

Self heating touchscreen-friendly gloves and a hat that vibrates when someone is coming up behind you

17 Jun 2009
17 Jun 2009

Click here for a full report of the Electro Clothing workshops.

In a series of workshops Mediamatic explored electro-clothing. Clothing that lights up in the dark, clothing that sings when it is touched and clothing that moves when it is cold. Participants brought their own garment to technify.


Nadya Peek is a researcher at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge. There she explores body extensions and identity through hardware, as well as low-power low-cost mobile technology.


What can we do when someone touches us or we touch them? And also, how do we use touchscreen mobile phones with gloves in the winter?
In the touch workshop we explored capacitive sensing, vibration motors, heating elements and IR distance sensing.

Participants brought a garment of their own choice (dress, coat, pants, underwear etc). In the electronics kit included in the price of the workshop were the sensors, the actuators, a preprogrammed AVR chip to control the input and the output and laser-cut conductive fabric traces you could iron on to any clothing you care to bring. To make better connections you could also sew with conductive thread and add metallic snaps and buttons. By the end of the workshop everyone had constructed their own electro-clothing.


Electro Clothing workshop - At the Touch Sensitive Clothing Workshop at Mediamatic. Alice Bodanzky