interactive LED hat set

Project Summary


Skills and Tools:
Physical computing
Concept development

Products of Design,
SVA, 2015

Nuzzle is an electronics-embedded beanie set that lights up when the two hats are touched together. Perfect for couples, families, kids, or close friends, nuzzle provides a way to display their affection and delight to those around them. When two people wearing nuzzle touch their heads together at the conductive contact points, the pompom lights up. Nuzzle facilitates unexpected interactions by lighting up a part of the hat that the wearer can't see. This performative aspect draws bystanders into the interaction.

Under the hood (pun intended!), the hat uses two circuits: The first, connected to the LED, is always closed and carries the current. The second circuit—the switch—is made of conductive yarn, knitted into the structure of both brims, and closes when the conductive yarn of the hats touch. The LED in the pompom is activated when an Arduino Uno board—connected to both circuits from the back of the hat—reads the switch as closed, and sends a current of electricity to the LED. Separating the switch from the LED circuit keeps electricity from traveling against the skin of the wearer, preventing any chance of a short circuit.