Socialight

an interactive wearable light installation

created by Adria Perez-Rovira, Carolin Vogler, Eduardo M. Insua, María Isabel Cevallos, Nikoletta Theodoridi, Richard Santana, Ruben Oya and Sara Montoya as part of the ProtoPixel hackathon “Hack the Light Up” 2019

Photo by Sara Montoya

During the Barcelona Llum light festival 2019, ProtoPixel gave 40 eager creatives the chance to explore new ways of interaction and learn about the ProtoPixel soft- and hardware, while creating unique light installations.

ProtoPixel controller with LEDs in the background — photo by Sara Montoya

I was one of the lucky participants joining this intense weekend of crafting and light hacking.

Teamed up with 7 inter-disciplinary experts in their fields ranging from data mapping and programming to making, street art and design, we had 16 hours to set-up a working prototype of a wearable.

Concept & Inspiration

Our piece is inspired by traditional Masai adornments, light reflections on textiles and the play of light on volumes of the human body. With the intention to craft a piece of wearable art that would transform the wearers body into a canvas of lights, we went to work.

Proof-of-concept

Being part of the Llum festival of lights, we wanted to directly connect our item to the event, reflect existing and spark new user interaction on Twitter.

A wearable that displays social media participation as an interactive light installation

Design

An embroidered large round collar with integrated LED strip provides a large enough radius to reflect light onto the entire upper body of the wearer. LEDs are positioned under the brim of the piece, while the upper surface is kept clear to protect the individual from being blinded or distracted.

Artistic fashion wearable “Socialight” — photo by Sara Montoya

Interactivity

Connected to the internet via a WIFI controller, the wearable scans Twitter for key words related to the Llum festival. Every time a tweet including the following hashtags or words is posted the wearable changes its lighting patterns to strong blue and red hues in a dynamic rhythm:

Photo by Sara Montoya

#protopixel

#protopx

# madewithprotopixel

#llumBCN2019

#llumBCN

#llumBCN19

Default mode: the slow circular movement of green and pink lights attracts attention yet gives a calm impression.

Tweet detected lighting animation: As soon as a tweet with the right keywords is detected, a strongly contrasting blink appears to signal a new post.

Wearable in action

Thanks to everyone all mentors for supporting us during the weekend. Special thanks to my amazing team members and of course ProtoPixel for making this fun and adventurous weekend possible.

Team picture with wearable in action — l to r: Adriá, Eduardo, Richard, Nikoletta, Ruben, Carolin, María Isabel & Sara