This quilt is made up of an array of 41 textile tilt sensors. Each sensor demonstrates a unique construction variation, showcasing different materials and techniques that can be used to create fabric tilt sensors.
The Tilt Sensing Quilt took roughly a year to complete. It is a great demonstration of how the process of crafting e-textile technology requires handwork, patience, and concentration. The work is repetitive and soothing, yet frustrating if you aim to complete too much in one go. It proved a much better decision to work on the quite a bit at a time and to enjoy the process, rather than seeing it as a means to an end.
Techniques for making the tilt sensors include: fusing, machine and hand embroidering, felting, etching and painting.
The quilt as a final artifact can be seen as decorative and a display of e-textile technique but can also wirelessly connected to a computer (via bluetooth) and function as a human-computer input device. Currently i have programmed no useful applications with which the quilt can interact, but i did write a very basic visualization application that displays the tilt direction of each quilt square as a different colour, depending on which direction it is tilted. You could also imagine mapping this information to a 3D visualization that renders a rough height-map of the quilt, just in case you wanted to... you could also use the tilt information to recognise distinct states of the quilt and have certain states trigger different events. For example if the quilt is being shaken maybe the volume of your stereo goes down, or if the quilt is folded then the lights all go off, and if you drape it over the couch then it plays a certain song... but really it is up to you:-)
The quilt is made up of 3 layers (with an additional isolation layer between layers two and three):
1) Tilt sensors: 41 total
2) Rows: 9×6 rows connecting all 6 tilt sensor petals
3) Columns: 41 individual columns connecting all 41 tilt sensing beads via five 8-channel multiplexers
Along one edge all tilt sensor petals are interconnected. Along another edge all tilt sensing beads are connected via five 8-channel multiplexers. All traces finally connect to a LilyPad Arduino, which parses the array of 41 tilt sensors and sends the data via serial communication over Bluetooth (wireless) or via a USB connection (wired).
Videos of the quilt visualization application