Ideas on Building Interactivity in Textiles and Related Fibers

After a quick review of recent rapid developments in intrinsic fiber and textile sensing and actuation, I demonstrate pressure, stretch, position, acceleration, and multitouch sensors built with paper and textile structures. Their performance will be shown informally by integrating them into functional musical instruments. I close with a vision of how a design theory and practice may be developed for these materials, illustrated with new, folded, and pleated piezoresistive structures that have just begun to be explored.Ideas on Building Interactivity in Textiles and Related Fibers, Freed, Adrian , International Symposium on New Frontiers in Fiber Materials Science, 08/2011, Charlston, South Carolina, (2011)

The FingerPhone, a sustainably designed paper Musical Instrument

The first version of the fingerphone was created to demonstrate conductive paper at the East Bay Maker Faire. It was built using the speaker in a large musical greeting card that Hallmark used to make with a bending mode transducer.

The next version used a pizza box as the resonator to demonstrate reuse as the sustainability aspect was emphasized..

Eventually it was placed on cardboard to be attached to poster board where it won "Best Poster" award at the NIME conference.

The paper associated with that poster presentation was chosen for inclusion in the NIME reader.

See video

First Fingerphone Prototype

On Top of Musical Greeting Card (for better projection)

Conductive Paper Pressure Sensor and Arduino Teensy

Overhand knot in a strip of carbon-loaded paper becomes an FSR that can be easily connected to your favorite microcontroller (in this case a teensy running with the Arduino C++ tool chain).

This is part of my Fingerphone instrument.

Arduino Music and Sound Weekend Workshop in Berkeley

Dates: July 24 + July 25, 2010 from 10am to 5pm FULL


During this hands-on workshop we will survey Arduino platforms, libraries, shields and programming techniques for a broad range of musical and sound applications. We will learn how to synthesize useful wave shapes including square, sine, triangle and pulses, how to manage polyphony and timing and how to playback and record sampled sounds.

lilypad touch sound example

// XYZ textile pad
// (procedural abstraction)
void analogPullup(int pin, boolean activate)
  pinMode(14+pin, INPUT); // magic to active pullups 14 is the numbering of the analog pins
  digitalWrite(14+pin, activate ?   

Class Syllabi

This logs class syllabi and activities

Interactive Soft Circuits and eTextiles Workshop with Arduino Lilypad in Berkeley, California

Dates: Saturday June 26 and Sunday June 27, 2010 from 10am to 5pm


Arduino Collection 2010

The current growth of the Arduino platform is fueled by the many new boards that make it easier to squeeze Atmega processors and their associated peripherals into ever smaller spaces or unusual places such as clothing. Neather hoarding or fetishism explain my large and growing collection of Arduinos (official and unofficial) - I use them to test the sketches and libraries that I share and to teach people how to pick the best one for their applications in

Arduino Workshop for Interactive Art Installations, Performance and Musical Instruments in Berkeley, California

Dates:Saturday May 15 and Sunday May 16, 2010

from 10am to 5pm


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