The Monitor Dress is an experiment in researching different ways of digitalizing the wearer’s heart activity as well as processing the data.
Three electrodes inside the dress measure the electrical signals running through the wearer’s body. Those analog impulses, which emanate from the muscle activity of the heart, are converted to digital signals. The microcontroller then lights up a circle of LEDs in the front of the dress, flashing purple with every heartbeat. The microcontroller also sends the data over a wireless network for other uses. The data sent over the wireless network is picked up by a computer, which is monitoring the data in order to animate it. The electrical signals of the heart are now visible on the display as well as the dress itself.
The Monitor Dress creates a seamless interface between the human body, garment and electronic components – digitalizing and recording our transient biosignals.
The top piece of the dress is made of black and clear acrylic pieces - cut with an laser cutter. A NeoPixel ring is glued underneath the clear acrylic circle in the middle. The wires run behind the top piece to a fabric strip which is attached to the top piece at the back of the dress. The fabric strip connects to the little pocket which holds the microcontroller, heart rate monitor and battery. Three e-textile electrodes are sewn into the lining of the dress. The wires connecting the electrodes and microcontroller run between two layers of fabric.