Introduction: HYPE | Hear Your Personal Emotion

Design for the fashion system 2020/21 | Fashion 4.0 | Group 2

HYPE Project - Hear Your Personal Emotions

The concept of HYPE is to record our heartbeat during the day and lead you to different playlists: from different heartbeat to different mood of recommended songs.Your heartbeat will decide and lead you to the perfect and personalized playlist to listen.

This idea of personalization can be related also to FabLab, encouraging people to be makers: customers become a part of the production process, creating a more personal connection. Individuality is the basis: your personal heartbeat and your personal creativity.

Thus, we have developed HYPE project with the aim of encouraging people to start learning or improve their knowledge regarding fabrication technologies. Along the process, we use laser cutting, 3D printing, and sewing machines, and we build a circuit with an Arduino microcontroller learning how to code.

Step 1: Bucket Hat

Our product is a classic bucket hat, with the addition of two flap sides that will allow our target to listen to the music. The choice of the final shape of this accessory is based on two essential conditions: strong aesthetics and easy construction. Thus, we created an assembly guide in order to make our hat a 100% DIY product.

We selected two main textiles to be sewn in our product: scuba (main one) and nylon (lining). They can both be laser cutted to speed up the process. The scuba fabric is a modern type of jersey, that is characterized by its medium-high thickness. Nylon is a flimsy polyamide-based fabric, mainly exploited for its lightness.

The following step is about the construction of the final patterns. For its creation we started from this tutorial and modified it to our needs. The pattern is one size fit and we added 1 cm of seam allowance, when needed.

TOP: Draw a circle within a square 190 mm x190 mm.

TOP POCKET: Draw a square 134 mm x 134 mm.

HEADBAND: Draw a rectangle 120 mm x 166 mm. Then add marks at below measurements and join the points through straight and curved lines.

BRIM : Draw a rectangle 154,4 mm x 217 mm. Then add marks at below measurements and join the points through straight and curved lines.

FLAP: Draw a rectangle 105 mm x 115 mm. Then, round the bottom corners and add a small circle of 15 mm diameter in the middle of the rectangle width.

We set up two Illustrator files (.ai - CS4 version) for each fabric. In them, we placed headbands and brims as unfolded in their center. We also added the decorative brand logo on the center of one of the scuba headbands. The cutting lines are set to a thickness of 0.1 pt and represented by the red-coloured layer. The work dimension of the scuba is 1000 mm x 600 mm, while the nylon one is 550 mm x 600 mm. We made sure that there were no overlapping strokes and sent our design to the laser cut machine, attaching all the fundamental information.

Step 2: Circuit


HYPE detects the wearer’s heartbeat through a pulse sensor placed on the earlobe. The input is defined by the emotional state of the user that can be more relaxed (less BPM) or more active (more BPM). Therefore, by determining a threshold in the sketch of the microcontroller (Arduino or Lilypad), we obtain the number of beats per minute (BPM). This calculation is able to define the users' experiences, reproducing a song or playlist accordingly through two soft speakers sewn into the hat.


  • Microcontroller (Arduino UNO or Lilypad MP3)
  • Pulse sensor
  • Button
  • LED
  • DFPlayer Mini MP3
  • Micro SD card
  • Soft speakers [Explained in Step 4]
  • Battery

Firstly, we designed the circuit and represented it on Tinkercad. We added the components that we couldn’t find in Illustrator. Then, we tested the elements and controlled that the pulse sensor and MP3 player were working properly using the Serial Plotter feature. Once we tested that all the components work properly, we started writing the sketch in Arduino software.

Our initial idea was to develop the project with LilyPad Arduino USB DEV-12049, however, as the circuit needs to play music through a speaker, it requires a MP3 component to transmit the data. Once we bought the DFPlayer Mini MP3, we saw that it was working with Arduino Uno and not with LilyPad USB. We found out that LilyPad USB doesn’t have Rx Tx ports to send the information to other componets. Thus, we decided to proceed working with Arduino Uno.

As a solution to implement portability, we will offer in our “HYPE KIT” the LilyPad MP3 because we consider it is easier to use and there is no need to weld the components. It also has all the features required so that the sketch could be reproducible.

We also faced problems with the first pulse sensor that we bought (MAX30100). It didn’t work because the components of the sensor were displayed in a way that the output voltage was lower than 3.3V, which is the minimum value required to work with Arduino Uno. The troubleshooting proposed in the forum was to remove the resistors that were decreasing the voltage to such values. However, as we did not have the tools to remove such small resistors we opted to buy a simpler model (ICQUANZX).

Step 3: Arduino Sketch

The main component of this project is the pulse sensor. Thanks to it we are able to detect beats by defining a threshold that works as a peak detector.

Each 6 seconds we store the beat count into a (10,1) array (representing a minute). Once 60 seconds have passed we average the values recorded, this way we are able to deal with some inconsistencies of the sensor. The number of beats counts is sometimes misleading due to the sensor quality and the threshold definition (which can be improved by processing the pulse sensor signal).

Synchronously, after a minute, the LED turns on to indicate that the MP3 is ready to start playing the song selected according to your emotional state (which will be defined by the BPM recorded). You only need to press the button in order to start listening trough the soft speakers.


You can download our Arduino Sketch here:


Step 4: Soft Speaker


We did several soft speakers trying out different techniques and materials. To create a textile speaker we need to embroider a highly conductive thread coil and to bring closer a strong neodymium magnet. There are many different tutorials but we followed mainly this one.

For the first samples we used conductive thread and copper thread for the spirals, however, the diameter of the wire wasn't big enough for emitting sound. Then we tried a paper speaker with conductive fabric, inspired by this tutorial, where the speaker is in the plane, but we would need a more conductive coil to make it work.

The working sample was made with steel conductive thread to sew the spiral on a reflective nylon fabric. The mix between the wire diameter and the spacing between turns was balancend and allowed the embroidery to reproduce sounds.

The textile speaker for the prototype is made with steel conductive thread, embroidering on our nylon lining fabric. The combination of wire diameter, fabric stiffness, magnetic strength and spacing between turns worked as well, so we decided to use it in our final prototype. The final diameter of our spiral is around 55 millimeters, the distance from a turn to the other is about 3 millimeters and the stitches are long on average of 3-5 millimeters. These are all the equipments needed to make the HYPE embroidered fabric speaker:


  • Steel conductive thread (2 mm diameter)
  • Neodymium magnet (18 mm diameter)
  • Nylon fabric


  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Crocodile clips

First, take the textile flap that has been laser cut. Starting approximately from the middle of the piece, trace the outline and mark the central point of the coil on the front of the fabric. With a sewing needle pull the end of your conductive thread through the center of the coil so that the needle ends up on the back side. Leave some extra-thread for connecting: a length of 5-20 centimeters is enough.

Stitch over the conductive thread and then come back into the fabric, remembering to leave few millimeters along the coil path. Try to maintain a regular distance between the stitches and keep sewing the first turn.

Embroidering from the centre to the edge, the conductive thread must be as close as possible to the previous turn without touching it. If this advice is avoided, the electricity will not flow around in the spiral turns, thus limiting the strength of the magnetic field.

Once the spiral is completely sewn on the traced sketch, leave 10-20 centimeters of extra-conductive thread on this side too.

Now it is possible to test the soft speaker and make it work. Place a neodymium magnet on the back side of the fabric and connect both the ends of the coil to the mp3 player or audio amplifier, using two crocodile clips. Hear the sound and enjoy the music!

Step 5: 3D Cover Sensor

To design the cover of the pulse sensor we created a clip that can fit the shape of your earlobe. To model it we used the 3D modeler Autodesk Inventor, adapting the accessory dimensions to the central groove needed for the sensor itself. We extruded face A (pictured in the technical drawing) and then created the sensor groove and the electric threads hole on the corresponding faces. After adding some rounds, we exported the file in a STL format.

We tested the model on the CURA software to control the different variables before printing it.

Thus, we tested two different kind of 3D printing, both SLA and FDM. We noticed that the SLA printing was the ideal one for our accessory. We also tried different dimensions, to better understand the proportions of the object, but also to verify that the final user could directly modify the final file to adapt it to his own body.

Step 6: Assembly Guide

We then came to the assembly of the laser-cut fabric pieces and other components to obtain the final HYPE bucket hat.

Furthermore, in line with the collaboration with the Fablab community, we have created a detailed assembly guide for the “HYPE KIT” that can be found in the PDF “HYPE ASSEMBLY GUIDE”. It contains the bucket hat step by step construction and the electronics placement. We created it to make the tutorial more understandable and easy to follow.


  • Laser-cut scuba components
  • Laser-cut nylon components (flaps with soft speaker included)
  • 2 eyelets
  • Drawstring
  • Matching thread
  • Velcro


  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Sewing clips
  • Fabric scissors

We have created the step by step tutorial with detailed drawings. You can download the HYPE ASSEMBLY GUIDE here:

Step 7: HYPE Technology

The video shows the circuit working.

Step 8: Final Prototype

Here you can see the result of our product photo shooting.

Step 9: Future Progress


As we commented in Step 2.4, the “HYPE KIT” will contain a LilyPad MP3 because it is smaller, lighter, sewable and there is no need to weld extra components. The LilyPad MP3 has all the features required so that the sketch could be reproducible.

The pulse sensor signal can also be improved as we mentioned in Step 3.1. Getting a more precise threshold could result on a drastic improvement in the recording of the beats. The less precision we have, allows the “for loop” to misclassify one beat into several. Another posible enhancement could be to preprocess the signal, so that the beat is represented as a straight vertical line, therefore the threshold could be less restrictive.

The sketch is designed to play the desired music depending on the averaged beat. The output currently is summed up in 2 songs but the method can be enhanced by adding more if else statements to play more songs or be linked to a playlists.

Another interesting idea to develop could be to introduce a choice of the shape of the hat itself. This would allow the group of makers to expand even further and bring people with different tastes together. Among the imagined possibilities there are: a) HYPE beanie hat; b) HYPE floppy hat; c) HYPE fedora hat; d) HYPE baseball hat.

A further area of development and customization could be the proposal of different shapes of spiral for soft-speakers. Indeed, it would be interesting to give the possibility to play with the aesthetics and materials of the speakers. The fundamental paradigm to consider is to maintain the spiral structure in order to create the magnetic field and to balance the conductivity of the materials with the coils. However, the customization possibilities are endless and the shapes can be different and creative: from geometric figures to imaginative silhouettes.

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