Student’s Wearable Technology Brings a Voice to Ability Now Participants
Students in the Wearable and Soft Interactions class from the California College of the Arts teamed up with some of the participants at Ability Now to create a customized “wearable technology” product. The students’ class projects are designed to produce prototypes using conductive and resistive fabrics, threads, yarns and learn how to research and use alternative materials to create fashionable and flexible works.
The student’s first project was creating an interactive and/or wearable product designed specifically for each participant. For example, two different groups of students worked on creating a proto-type of a TV remote for our participant Kevin. Because Kevin has limited control over his movements, the students designed a large board with soft cushion buttons that lit up a light that correlated with the color of the button.
Another group of students designed wearable technology for two different participants that are non-verbal. Products were designed to work with each participants’ limited movements taken in to consideration. With a slight push of a button on a head band or wrist band, a voice is triggered to “speak” a need, such as “I’m hungry” or “I need an attendant.”
For the limited amount of time the students had to work on their projects, it was amazing to see the product proto-types they had designed. But even more heartening was the students compassion and kindness as they worked with our participants. To see all of the students’ projects and the timeline of creating them, check out the Students in the Wearable and Soft Interactions webpage here.