Picture of 10-minute sewable iPod remote
There are a lot of really cool iPod remote control projects: some have simple buttons, some react to  heartbeat or body motion, and others are designed to interface directly with software running on a computer.

However, not one of them is truly wearable, or speaks to the unique needs of e-textiles designers.  They have been mostly prototypes, and are seldom intended for serious, daily use.

With this in mind, we took our time to design a system that is tiny, robust, and very easy to incorporate into your project.  The end result has three components:

1. a tiny, complete circuit that sits *inside* the dock connector
2. four pieces of conductive fabric that form the two buttons of the remote
3. two-channel conductive yarn to connect the sections (we spin it ourselves)

These components empower beginning and professional e-textile enthusiasts to make a truly useful, wearable, interactive craft project that can be sewn into a favorite jacket or scarf. One could also build it into a car, into a floor mat, a shower curtain, or an interactive art project.

The point is, this is *not* yet another prototype. We actually use it everyday, and so would you. I have one hanging from my backpack, a friend has it on her handbag, and another has it clipped to her jackets. Soon, we'll make one  gloves. Even our non-techie friends and family build and use them. That's the point.

This instructable shows how you could make your own fabric-based remote control in 10 minutes using our pieces. There's also a simple (but neat) section on how to read many resistor values using only two wires (instead of multiple wires).

When the project is done, the remote has two soft buttons:
Play/Pause: Single click
Next/Previous Track: Double click 
Next/Previous Album: Triple click
Volume Up/Down: Press and hold

It works with any iPod or iPhone with a dock connector.

*The cat pattern is from 'the cute book' by Aranzi Aronzo, whom we really love*
Magic dock connector, conductive fabrics, yarn & thread available at the Aniomagic store.
You can also get conductive fabric and 3M velostat from lessemf.com

Mixey 10110 months ago

so cute

erovere1 year ago
This should theoretically work with Android as well, but you would have to use different values of resistance and a 4 way 3mm jack, since there is no USB interface for this, as far as my knowledge goes.
spankysully4 years ago
How do the buttons work on this?

does button 1- control play/pause/ and tracks
and button 2- just volume?

if yes, how does it determine if you want to turn the volume up or down?
and is there a way to make it three buttons so i can have volume up/down separate ?
QRohlf4 years ago
I purchased the velostat fabric from you - unfortunately, it is too conductive - the controller is registering it as a press on the zelf button due to the low resistance. Is there a way that I can fix this?(The resistance when the velostat button is pressed is ~13 KOhms)
I just got my magic dock, along with the Aniomagic velostat and I am having the exact same issue (and 13KOhms reading), did anyone else have this problem or have any suggestions?
I never got a response, and ended up solving it by putting an actual resistor between the velostat and the zelf buttons (which kind of defeats the purpose of a soft circuit, but I was short on time.)
aniomagic (author)  QRohlf4 years ago
Hi QRohlf,

I'm so sorry I didn't see your questions until now that pkirschmann pointed it out to me. I've been so busy (I just finished defending my thesis), so I've not been on top of things for the past months. Please accept my apologies.

I think I've identified the problem, and it stems from two things:

- initially, we used an A/D converter to sense the change in resistance, but our supplier ran out of the chips we needed (PIC10f222 in October 2010)

- we quickly adapted the firmware to sense pulses based on charging a capacitor which would discharge at different rates depending the resistance in the zelt/velostat. We used an available chip (PIC10F200) Trouble is this varies a LOT with pressure and size of the velostat.

To cut a long story short, we sold you defective docks, and will replace them right away, free of charge, shipping on us. I'm really for the inconvenience.
Cool! Do I need to contact you over email to get that rolling, or do you already have enough info from me to do that?

aniomagic (author)  QRohlf4 years ago
zip 97219? Yes, we got your info. We'll send them over tomorrow. Thanks for your understanding :o)
aniomagic (author)  pkirschmann4 years ago
Hi, thanks for letting me know. We're going to revert back to the original versions which worked much better. We'll be sending free replacements right away.
natalie00314 years ago
The cute book!!! <3
tanion5 years ago
 Great guide! I  haven't tried it myself but I'm going to. Can you please clarify if you need a the special a "special" dock connector or if you just can disassemble the original connector i.e. the the one you got when you bought the iPod.
amazingdx5 years ago
Have you used only 2  wires for 2 function keys? I didn't see the ground there...
kri19875 years ago
 Anyone try this with an iphone? My iphone says device not made to work with iphone and all the volume controls dissapear. It's a great idea, but it's a shame that it cuts out all sound once I plug it in. 

Anyone have any ideas on what the problem might be or a workaround to this?
aniomagic (author)  kri19875 years ago
First, congratulations! You have a fine piece of craft-tech in your hands.
The message: "This accessory is not made to work with iPhone" appears to
be quite common with 3rd party devices (not just ours).
Ideally you should say "NO" to the question about Airplane mode, or just ignore it (it should pop down after 30 seconds). The magic dock should work regardless.
We have seen this message with the 3G and 3GS, and here's a good
explanation for why:
We are still trying to figure out how to make sure the message never pops
up, but your unit tested just fine before it shipped.
wow! thats pretty cute ^^
probably gonna get the kit from the site but does the magic dock
work for the older gens of the ipod touch (like 1st gen ehehe :D )
I hope it does cos i really need to get me one of these..
aniomagic (author)  waterfall-city5 years ago
Thanks! I think the oldest player with a compatible port is from April 2003. Hopefully yours is within that age range :-)

Does it work for any other type of iPod oran iPhone
aniomagic (author)  eggyeggyeggy5 years ago
Any player that uses a dock connector (from April 2003) should work.
geek4hire5 years ago
r u selling these?
aniomagic (author)  geek4hire5 years ago
Yes we are, aniomagic.com
Get a couple :-)
Chromatica5 years ago
How did you learn the pinouts on the connector?
aniomagic (author)  Chromatica5 years ago
I learned the pinouts from studying the material from the good folks at:


These guys really did a good job of figuring out and publishing the details several years ago.
Right after I posted I found the pinout.ru link myself.And I agree, they all are very kind for doing that.
ChrysN5 years ago
aniomagic (author)  ChrysN5 years ago
Thank you. Some folks say it's too cute though. Next week, *biker* edition :-)