Fast forward 6 weeks and Kevin and Tim were invited to Nottingham Trent university to see what the students had come up with. They had broken themselves in to 4 groups of three and had some great ideas.
The first group had spent a lot of time looking into the category focusing on health and found that the “Sports Wrist band market” had doubled in the last 2 years and on the current trajectory would hit sales of 100 million units in the next 3 years. With this in mind they designed a wrist band with 3 different colours of LEDs. These signified 3 key areas that were; Hydration, Your “5 a day” and movement. Upon activating, the band would remind the user of these three areas with a view to provoking action. The on board Programmable Igloo board noted the times since activated and would then activate the right LEDs.
The second group had gone down a different route and found themselves working on a product to help entertain and calm young children. They have used sewable LEDs stitched in to a Snail design (though they did stress this could be changed). They had cleverly sewn in to the design paper, so that when moving it would make a noise responsive to the type of movement. The lights and sounds were to entertain/distract the child and thus keep them from being upset when mum isn’t in the room.
Group 3, whilst very clearly staying within the “health and welling”, had almost gone into medical device territory. They had first-hand knowledge of Diabetes and wanted to make a product that would remind the wearer to check their bloods every 2 – 3 hours. They used the sewable LEDs and conductive poppers along with the Programmable Igloo board. They wrote the program to flash every 3 hours reminding the wearer that they should do the relevant tests and thus keeping themselves safe and healthy.
The final group had created a blanket for Autistic children. They recognised that for Autistic people the world is a very different place, with lots of stimuli that most don’t even pay attention too. This can make the world a stressful and scary place to be. So with this in mind the “Mood blanket” was born. They had thought a lot about the fabrics used, not wanting them to be too harsh but more cosy and comforting. Added to this there was an oversized hood for the user to pull over their head and with a button press would see calming lights appear in the darkness.
The 4 projects were very well researched, put together and presented by the students. All of which had really taken on the challenge of using electro fashion (most not having any experience of electronics) and coding Igloo boards to achieve an end goal. It was all very impressive and we are certain that all of the students have a bright future ahead of them.Now next year’s students need to try and top that...
If this captured your imagination and you wanted to learn more about E-Textiles and Electro Fashion, we've put together some free resources designed to help you do just that. They cover everything from the basics of conductive thread and simple circuit design to more complex ideas that require programming. You can find them on our Kitronik University page.
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