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Interactive Bodyscape lights up movement

Out There | June 26, 2017 | By:

A small gyroscope tracking shoulder movements sends data to a small microcontroller that illuminates LEDs. Photo: Behnaz Farahi

An interactive, 3D printed high-fashion garment was inspired by the behavior of the human body, says its creator, Behnaz Farahi, Los Angeles–based designer and technologist. As the wearer moves, “Bodyscape” lights up with LED lighting controlled by a gyroscope tracking her shoulder movements. Not only a technologically advanced fashion item, it raises fashion to the poetic with its “dance” of light and human movement, Farahi says.

The interactivity of the lighting and movement relies on physiology and physics. Bodyscape uses an understanding of Langer lines—topological lines of skin tension that are generally parallel to the orientation of the underlying muscle fibers. Add that knowledge to the principle of the 2D spiral as a naturally flexible form, and what results is Bodyscape’s findings: If the 3D printed materials are rigid and fragile but mapped to the least tension lines of skin, the maximum force will be added on the perpendicular direction, allowing the parallel lines to flex with the movement of the human body.

To highlight the wearer’s movement, an interactive lighting system is integrated beneath the surface. A gyroscope detects and tracks nine axis shoulder movements and sends data to a microcontroller that illuminates two addressable LED strips placed beneath the surface. A variety of lighting patterns emerge according to the forces exerted by the wearer’s body.

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