Dialectric

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Laura MacCary and her father Lawrence MacCary are collaborating on a series of interactive electronic textiles that they call Dialectric. "By interacting with the weaving the viewer physically enters the circuit, and the circuit passes through the viewer, blurring the boundary between them." Touching one piece in the collection causes LEDs to light up, while touching another causes audible clicks.

The output of the weaves isn't based on a simple on/off switch. Instead, how you touch the fabric (providing more or less skin surface area) affects the intensity of the light or the frequency of the clicks. Commerical fabric circuits (such as those from SOFTswitch used in flexible keyboards or MP3 jackets) also share this resistive property, but they certainly don't exploit it. There's a huge potential for analog input to allow for more emotionally rich expression and interaction with fabric, so it's exciting to see the MacCarys exploring this area.

If you're in the Seattle area, you can play with these pieces at Illuminator2 from June 25 - July 31.

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This page contains a single entry by published on June 13, 2004 11:48 AM.

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