The enLight system, is a mixed platform device, consisting of a wearable and a mobile app, aimed at breaking down interpersonal boundaries in public space and enhance social integration and aid in the development of a thriving public sphere.
Configured with the user’s preferences, the wearable (in the form of a jacket) is able to facilitate interaction between wearers, upon detection of a certain compatibility. Controlling the jacket requires no direct action of the wearer, as it utilizes data from integrated sound and proximity sensors, to analyze it’s wearers nonverbal cues and subsequently takes action based there-on. Visual feedback to operations taking place as well as notifications are iconically expressed using the jackets luminous fabric as a single pixel display, supported by a small vibration motor adding tactile stimuli. A zipper switch is integrated into the design, serving as a “kill switch” in order to ensure full user control of the wearable at any given time.
The enLight wearable adheres to the principles of a Soft User Interface (SUI), i.e. it has no screens or other way of using text or image-based communicative tools, it’s operation relies on biometric and contextually relevant data, in conjunction with nonverbal communication cues, it has a flexible substrate and is as easy to wear as a conventional garment and does not require any additional training or configuration as has previously been described in From Wearables to Soft-Wear: Developing Soft User Interfaces by Seamlessly Integrating Interactive Technology into Fashionable Apparel.
The enLight jackets are fashioned from neoprene, with an inlay of polychrome fiberoptic fabric, which effectively renders the wearable a single pixel display. Each enLight jacket is powered by a 5 Volt rechargeable power supply and fitted with a Spark Core micro-controller driven by an ARM Cortex M3 and Texas Instruments SimpleLink CC3000 Wi-Fi chip.
For more in-depth information on the workings on the enLight please refer to Soft Computation In The Public Sphere: Enhancing Social Dynamics With Wearable Networks.and Sociocultural Augmentation And The Design Of Collaborative Experience: A Case Study Of A Next Generation Context-Activated Wearable.