• Elvin Ou

Creating a wearable device


Let's just name this project " A wearable device that never really happened. "

A graphic representation of my initial idea that never really happened when I was actually doing it.


For this project, We were assigned to create a wearable device that explores a new sense. I had lots of questions when I first started exploring what the new senses would be. It took me a while until I kind moved sideways to the direction of understanding it as a sense that we can not directly sense naturally. Inspired by Anna Oh designing a sensor project for dogs, I decided to also create something for my dog.


I started really strong lol, I was thinking about a lot ideas on what I would love to know about my dog that I have not yet known. There answer is: Way too many. Kind of moving back to reality, moving to the doable aspects of it, I narrowed it down to couple possible ideas:


1. Sense of security


One of the biggest concern and fear of all dog owners is to loose their dogs, I thought it would be nice to create a device that would somehow ensures the sense of security for dog owners. The sensors that I had in mind would be gps, cameras and maybe distance sensors depending on the scale of the space and the activity of the events.


2. Sense of heat


I always had a problem visualizing or realizing how hot is too hot for my dog to be under the sun, or how much should the duration be for my dog to be under the sun. The sensors that I had in mind would be uv sensors, or thermometer. The fact that this sense involves time, uv, and temperature is very challenging for a beginner.


3. Sense of motion


I have always been wondering how much sleep my dog actually gets since she literally sleeps all the time when she's at home. I figured it would nice to have some kind of a wearable device she could wear to get the data of her heartbeat, or motion, or vibration or something to be able to deliver that task.


After considering the fact of my capability in this, I sticked with the first idea of creating a sense of security. I started my research in Flora, looking for gps sensors and how much power it is needed for them, what kind of connection can Flora/gps could provide in terms of interface etc. I started sketching out how I want the device to look like and all that. Eventually It was just ended up being a hot mess and I guess the most I could do is to sew them together to create the right circuit and power them with the right batteries.


In terms of how it actually works, I could turn on the device by connecting batteries and then after the activity the data would be received through Flora and being input on google map to see the actual exploration when my dog wear it. There are so many more aspects that I want to cover in this project that I could not. I wish the flora was wireless, or bluetooth activated that the data is streaming to my phone or something...


Prototype making process:

Working towards the idea I had modeled, I wanted to create a prototype to get it started first. I found some knit fabric and decided to sew and connect the circuit to create an attachable device that does the job. After getting all the materials I need for this prototype I cut out the piece of knit wear and started sewing the circuit.

Once I connected all of them following the diagrams (meanwhile I was still waiting for the batter holders to come), I went ahead and wanted to give the gps a try and started researching the gps device and how it functions. Ultimately I wanted it to be a wireless device that steams the location date, but I of course could not do it.. lol Instead, I was playing around and found the way to kind of start the gps by giving flora an instruction and then plug the flora again after the gps is used to gather date of the coordinates. Problem happened.

I spent quite some time to even translate all the date from the serial communication to xml/kml. Then I followed the gps guide book to copy those info into a text file and then put them in google map to create a location map. However it did not happen :( . I am not exactly sure why since I am still so very new to all of this, but I will try to figure it out for the next step