Fabric Interfaces


To change radically the physical shape and feeling of technology, designers must also be able to change the materials from which it is made. Fabric Interfaces are just one example of what can happen when design materials, like fabric and thread, become electronic materials. The musical ball, a continuous-control, plush musical instrument, uses embroidered conductive thread as pressure sensors. These embroidered pressure sensors allow the ball to be soft and plush, rather than covered with hard buttons or keys. They also make manufacturing cheap and easy, and allow designers to shape their sensors anyway they want. The whimsical electronic table cloths and coaster ID tags are part of a digital game of cocktail Jeopardy. They use appliqued conductive fabric and embroidered threads to create, in the table cloths, a tag reader, and decorative key pad.