Since finishing this project I often receive emails from students or physical computing/fashion tech researchers asking where I purchased the hardwares I used.
This post will provide a summary of each of the critical technologies which have been used to help guide anyone who may be interested in pursuing a similar kind of project. I have divided the list into two sections, wearable display and wearable computer.
1 - WEARABLE DISPLAY JERSEY
(1.1) EL Wire: this is made by a company called Lytec used on the shoulders of the jersey. I was lucky to find a place in Australia that stocked and sold EL wire by the meter. I got mine from a company called Quatre Pty Ltd (trading as The Electroluminescent Company) based in Victoria, Australia. Their website now appears to be offline but anyway it is www.electroluminescent.net.au.
Further details are:
address: 2/40 GORDON AVE. E’ OAKLEIGH. VIC 3166
phone: 03 95628696 or 0415 353814
(1.2) EL Panels: these flexible panels were used along the left and right sides of the jersey. I did not find an Australian supplier of these devices, so I purchased all EL panels from the All Electronics based in the USA. They were a pleasure to deal with an answered questions by email very quickly. The panels that I used in my display were the 5″ x 1″ CAT# EL-5 type. There are many other different sized panels available (most are surplus though). The 5″x1″ ones I used were brand new I thought, extremely flexible and coated in a protective film. I understand the EL panels can be cut into different shapes as well.
(1.3) Conductive Thread: All the conductive thread was sewn into the jersey fabric and used to seamlessly connect electronics embedded within each jersey. The thread was ordered from LamÃ© Lifesavers. It is a little expensive, but 2 rolls was enough to do all four of my jerseys with some leftover. They are also very helpful if you email them with questions about the thread.
More to come…
2 - WEARABLE COMPUTER
More to come…
Finally, If you are interested in completing work in the fields of wearable displays / wearable computing, especially within the context of sports, then please don’t hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to help out as much as I can.