project: secret keeper
The secret keeper gloves are a simple idea that I've been developing for a little while. I'm exploring the idea of extending human behaviour and tendencies in a poetic, playful way, and integrating the controls as unobtrusively as possible. The switches in the gloves are triggered by gestures.
The secret keeper gloves are a way to fulfill the very human urge to tell a secret, without sharing the secret to others. The wearer speaks the secret into her cupped hands, and then can play it back by holding her hand to her ear.
photo: Mike Hambleton
How the "gestural switches" work:
- The batteries, microchip and speaker are all in the left hand. This means that the left hand has a fully-contained playback circuit.
- In order to activate playback, press the thumb and the forefinger of the left hand together.
- The only components in the right hand are the microphone and an indicator LED.
- When the left and right palms are pressed together, the record circuit is connected at three points, two on the heel of the hand for power and ground and one on the side of the hand for input from the microphone.
- Record is activated by pressing the left and right thumbs together.
- The embroidery makes it possible for the wearer to use a variety of thumb positions for record and playback.
- left palm
- right palm
- embroidered circuits
- touch thumb to forefinger to play
- record signal on right hand
- play signal on left hand
progress: embroidering the circuit
- inside the left glove
- wire with crimping bead
- embroidery and marking stitches
- embroidering the circuit
progress: hacking a readymade circuit
I was researching musical greeting cards for a friend of mine and figured this circuit would be perfect for using in this project. Hacking an existing circuit seemed much quicker and craftier than the Arduino projects I've done in the past.
I cut off the battery housing and soldered crimping beads to a few strategic points. I decided to keep the wiring, but moved it to the back of the board and moved the capacitor off the board to keep everything as flat as possible.
- the circuit cut down
- circuit stitched to fabric
interaction design: gestural controls
My first idea was to make shoulder caps, so that the wearer could directly speak and listen by gesturing with the head, but once I thought of a way to use hand gestures, gloves seemed like a much more elegent solution. The wearer clasps their hands together to make the recording. Playback is triggered by holding the thumb and forefinger together.
I drew the circuits and controls straight onto my hands for easy mapping.
- left hand - palm
- left hand - back