The glittering, ebbing fabric of space-time becomes literal in the form of an Interdimensional Curtain, a curtain with glowing and interactive elements sewn onto it with galactic inspiration. Part art installation for one's living community, part educational dive into the integration of electronics into fabric, this project is meant to be mesmerize and inspire all those who pass by.
What it does
Utilizing recent technology relating to sewable electronics, this curtain will sense the presence of people passing by and their movements and sound using various sensors and respond in the language of light, blinking, changing hue or brightness, creating patterns. The colored lights will interact fantastically with color painted designs and create an otherworldy experience.
How we built it
The curtain was made of cotton fabric, with a hand painted design with fabric paint.
I placed conductive ribbon strips on the back of the curtain to act as a sort of breadboard, then secured and powered the LED strips in the front by sewing together the ground and power terminals to their respective conductive strip using conductive thread. The signal wire is soldered to a small wire that is attached to the signal ribbon strip with copper conductive tape.
The sensors intended for use are as follows:
- Microphone for sound/volume detection
- Photoresistor for touchless “contact” (to detect, for example, waving ones hand over part of the curtain)
- PIR sensor to detect the presence of people walking by
The sensors were connected to a microcontroller programmed to control the LEDs. The code was taken from Adafruit’s “Ampli-Tie” project
Challenges we ran into
Challenges with time - this project involved many separate parts - sourcing materials, painting, sewing, soldering, programming, troubleshooting, etc that are order dependent, and only one person was working on this. Notably, the fabric eats up paint, and took multiple layers to make opaque. There was also no sewing machine access (the one we had was broken) so hand sewing was a very tedious processes.
The whole thing was powered by 3 separate cables, because the LEDs draw a lot of power and the sensor gets finicky when it’s ground and power wire are not separated from those of the LED strips.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Getting the LEDs connected in a way so that the curtain remains flexible. Creating a working curtain with an interesting experience. Wow-ing people and enticing others to get more involved in projects and “making”
What we learned
What's next for Interdimensional Curtain