Make an Emoticon Jacket with LCD screen using Arduino


I would like to make a jacket that has a small LCD screen to create subtexts for interpersonal human interaction. The user would use a limited “keyboard” with force sensors and buttons under soft silicone keys to create computer textual subtitles to human interaction (textual emoticons, ie: :P). The dichotomy between personal interaction that occurs in physical space and that which occurs on a computer or in virtual space will be evident and reference IMing, online gaming, texting, email, and other forms of distanced interpersonal interaction. The loss of intonation and body language that occurs at the intersection of computers and textual communication is evident in today’s culture.

In this application, the effort we put into replacing the nuances of personal communication with punctuation and textual cues in the virtual realm will help subtitle and enhance (or confuse) the conversation and interaction that occurs in the physical realm.  Force sensors will allow the wearer to react to the conversation in a natural way, the more tension, the more force applied, the more more intense the emoticon.  This also introduces a lack of control over the emoticon displayed and the perception of the emoticon in the context of the interaction.

Step 1: Supplies:

Wire strippers
Needle-nose Pliers
Wire Cutters
Needle and Thread
Sewing Machine (optional)
Clothes Iron
Soldering Iron
x-acto knife
fabric cutting board
tailor’s pencil or other fabric marker

Step 2: Jacket Requirements

I made my own jacket from a pattern and design I created, but any jacket would work.  Just make sure it is loose enough to have room for your board and other electronics.  Also, having an asymmetrical cut will allow you to work with a larger space when placing and hooking up the LCD screen.

When choosing or making your own jacket, be prepared for the following:
1. The jacket should be made of a natural fiber, like cotton or wool.  Cotton is best and will allow you to attach interfacing and will handle heat from your iron well.
2. If your jacket has a lining, be ready to rip it out.  Grab a seam ripper and go for it.  Try to save the lining if you would like to reuse it after the electronics are in.

Step 3: Electronics:

Go to the Adafruit instructions to wire up the LCD:

1. Solder wires to LCD
2. Download the library and save to your local Arduino folder
3. Hook up the screen and chip according to the instructions
4. Solder the wires to the Lilypad (an Uno is shown in the pictures)
5. Hook up connections to all the + and – rows on the breadboard
6. Connect pin 10 to the strip that’s connected to the white power wire for the backlight

Force Sensors:
1. Wire up the force sensors, directly into the breadboard for now
2. Wire one side of the sensor to ground
3. Wire the other side to the Analog Input Pin a2 (analog inputs are preceded by “a” on the board)
tip: use some tape on the back side of the Lilypad to hold the wire in place on the pad until soldered
4. Hook up a resistor to power from the pin row
5. Do the same with the other sensor, but hook up to the a4 pin

1. Solder small wires to the button and plug directly into the bread board
2. Hook up a wire to ground on one side of the button and a wire to Pin 12 of the Lilypad
3. Hook up a resistor to power from the pin row

[box color=”#985D00″ bg=”#FFF8CB” font=”verdana” fontsize=”14 ” radius=”20 ” border=”#985D12″ float=”right” head=”Major Components in Project” headbg=”#FFEB70″ headcolor=”#985D00″]Materials:
LCD Screen from Adafruit with chip: $15.25

Hookup wire (at least 3 different colors can be helpful) solid 22 Gauge
electrical tape
Jacket you would like to modify
2 force/pressure sensors $6.95 each
Breadboard or protoboard $5.95 for breadboard
Lilypad Arduino $39.95 Pro Kit or $21.95 for the board only
FTDI adapter and mini USB cord (included in the Pro Kit)
3 AAA 1.5V batteries
medium and heavy weight fusible interfacing
sticky hook and loop closure dots
4 resistors 10k (brown, black, orange, gold) $.25 each
1 Lilypad button
silicone keyboard cover
Fray Check
Extra jacket fabric or cotton twill[/box]

For more detail: Make an Emoticon Jacket with LCD screen using Arduino

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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