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Leah Buechley and her LilyPads

February 24th, 2008

Do you have this flower shaped board with built-in bluetooth module in other colors? How about the Paisley shaped one?

Leah Buechley is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Colorado and she’s part of the Craft Technology Group. her research explores the intersection of computational and physical media, focusing on computational textiles or electronic textiles (e-textiles) - soft, flexible, fabric-based computers. Her work in e-textiles includes developing a method for creating cloth printed circuit boards (fabric PCBs) and designing the commercially-available LilyPad Arduino system, which enables novices to build soft wearable computers.

LilyPad Arduino: e-textile construction kit vLilyPad Arduino: e-textile construction kit version 2.0ersion 2.0

LilyPad Arduino

Arduino board

Hard core Arduino

What I love about the work she does is that it makes it accessible to technophobics, eliminating the technical look and feel current electonics have. it looks like an object of desire rather than a misterious, cold artefact most electronic parts look like. The aesthetic qualities of her electronics appeal to people on the emotional level rather than the rational one.

Can you imagine embedding Lilypads into the fabrics in quilting class and making it reactive when you cuddle with your sweetheart in it? I can.

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Entry Filed under: Affective computing, CrafTech, Evolving Hardware, Form Factor, People, Prototyping Toolkits, Technology Trends, Trends, personalization, prosumers

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