What it does
By using a heart rate monitor, the user's pulse will be tracked. When an indicator of anxiety arises, deep pressure stimulations will be triggered to help alleviate sensory processing issues, and return the body to a homeopathic state. Furthermore, the garment would use compression fabrics and a weighted component which helps to ground the user. The weighted aspect would be comprised of many fine iron pellets evenly distributed across the torso of the garment in multiple pouches. The pouches would be incredibly small as to not irritate the wearer and would have a quilted appearance.
How we built it
We used the Arduino Uno for the chip in our circuit. Then we connected a pulse sensor to the Arduino. In the actual garment, the pulse sensors would be embedded into the piece itself and not required to be in contact with just the fingers. When there is a sudden increase in heart rate, the vibrating motor is triggered. In this prototype, the circuit utilizes wires. However, in the actual garment, conductive thread would replace the role of the wiring, thus eliminating possible irritants
Challenges we ran into
Our team was comprised of novices. We lacked technological abilities, skill, and experience. Also, the available technology and materials were not a perfect fit for our desired product.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
As a team of two novice hackers with one Fashion Designer and one Visual Communication Designer with no programming or coding background, being able to learn about this innovative technology is a major accomplishment. On a greater scale, parents of special needs children are often forced to buy several different sensory friendly clothing for their special needs children. However, with our product, our team prioritized creating one sustainable product that satisfied different anxiety-relieving needs while allowing the child to become more autonomous.
What we learned
We as a team improved exponentially by gaining skills related to coding and other technologies. Furthermore, we honed our ability to work efficiently as a team despite the obstacles we encountered.
What's next for Fordante: Autonomous Sensory Clothing
While this prototype is a simple t-shirt, we have an expansive vision of how Fordante could improve daily life with Autism. We would like to produce different garments that can cater to a myriad of sensory issues. Our team is interested in potentially incorporating the calming effects of sensory LED light projectors and sensory toys into our designs. Also, we plan to expand our clothing line to include other compression garments such as pants and easy-to-put-on socks as part of our mission statement to increase the independence of Autistic children.