We present IllumiWear, a novel eTextile prototype that uses fiber
optic cables as interactive input and visual output. Fiber optic cables
are separated into bundles and then woven like a basket into a
bendable glowing fabric. By equipping light emitting diodes to one
side of these bundles and photodiode light intensity sensors to the
other, loss of light intensity can be measured when the fabric is bent.
The sensing technique of IllumiWear is not only able to discriminate
between discreet touch, slight bends, and harsh bends, but also
recover the location of deformation. In this way, our computational
fabric prototype uses it’s intrinsic means of visual output (light) as a
tool for interactive input. We provide design and implementation
details for our prototype as well as a technical evaluation of it’s
effectiveness and limitations as an interactive computational textile.
In addition, we examine the potential of this prototypes interactive
capabilities by extending our eTextile to create a tangible user
interface for audio and visual manipulation.
Josh Urban Davis “IllumiWear: A Bendable Interactive Fiber-Optic eTextile for Audio and Visual Interactions.” Proc of New Interfaces in Music Expression (NIME). Porto Alegre, Brazil 2019. [pdf]