A dress embedded with neopixel LEDs that twinkle when a programmed hashtag is used on Twitter.
LARA GALEA Creative Technologist
Made for Sarah Trotman, the Director of Business Relations at AUT, to wear while hosting the AUT Business School Excellence in Business Support Awards. Sarah has partnered with a team from Colab the last two years to create wearable outfits that showcase innovative combinations of technology, sustainability and fashion. The previous dresses included a mood-sensing dress that displayed the change in Sarah's mood via an LED collar, as well as a dress that came to life via augmented reality. Previously we’ve seen mood-sensing and augmented reality technology. 

Along with the team of Donna Cleveland, Claudine Nalesu, Julian de Villiers and Marlies Reukers, our aim was to create something that allowed for a crowd of people to interact with at once, as opposed to a limited interaction with the dress and an individual or just Sarah herself. Utilising Twitter as that interaction tool alongside the reliable e-textile technology of LEDs was our solution. 

The dress was made over three weeks, using an Arduino Yun (Wi-Fi capable & Linux programmable) , Power-Bank, nearly 50 neopixels and textile-based circuitry. 

On the night of the awards, the crowd's interaction with the dress went above and beyond our expectations. Not only was it a tool to generate a conversation over social media (the hashtag was trending on Twitter the whole night), but it brought about a sense of playfulness a socialness in the audience itself.